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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Non-citizens can now vote in several towns and cities in MD.

    Non-citizens can now vote in College Park, Md.


    A voter, left, picks up n “I Voted” sticker in a recent election. (Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post)

    By Rachel Chason

    September 13, 2017

    The Washington suburb of College Park, Md., on Tuesday became the largest U.S. city to allow noncitizens to cast ballots in municipal elections after a divided City Council vote that reflected the nation's heated and emotional debate over illegal immigration.


    Unlike most other states, Maryland allows towns and cities to decide for themselves who can vote in local elections. In recent years, Hyattsville, Mount Rainier, Takoma Park and several smaller towns have extended that privilege to noncitizens. College Park, home to about 32,000 and the University of Maryland's flagship campus, will join them starting in 2019.


    The decision to allow undocumented immigrants, student visa holders and residents with green cards to vote comes eight months into a crackdown on illegal immigration by President Trump and one week after his administration said it will wind down a deportation-relief program for young immigrants brought here as children. Council members and activists who supported the measure said it would send a message that College Park is a welcoming community for all residents, regardless of legal status.


    "Even if it weren't for the national context, it would be important for us to vote in support of noncitizens voting," said former mayor Andrew Fellows, one of 30 people to speak during the four-hour meeting. "We . . . should experiment in inclusivity wherever we possibly can."


    On both sides tension flared, with some in the audience booing speakers and the mayor at one point declaring that there was not a competition to see who could clap the loudest.


    "I came here to have a civil discourse, and I was called a Nazi," said Rick Hudson, who opposed allowing noncitizens to vote and said the slur was directed at him while he waited in line to speak. "People are afraid to speak one way or another on this issue."


    Emily Weant, who has lived in College Park since 2013, said allowing noncitizens to vote is "a slap in the face to citizens, especially Latino immigrants who have earned their citizenship."


    Some council members said they thought that not enough time had been devoted to discussing the charter amendment, which was introduced June 13 and has been passionately debated for much of the summer.


    The eight-member council, which postponed its initial vote Aug. 8, deadlocked Tuesday night on two proposed amendments: whether to let city residents help make the decision, either through a ballot referendum or a committee of residents that would discuss the issue; and whether to limit voting rights to noncitizens who have green cards.


    Mayor Patrick Wojahn cast the tiebreaking vote against both motions, which were introduced by council member Fazlul Kabir, himself a naturalized citizen.


    "Postponing [a vote] at this point will only increase tension, will only increase the fervor," Wojahn said. "To me, expanding access to the right to vote in our city is something that expands our community voice, not something that contracts it."


    The measure allowing noncitizens to vote then passed 4 to 3, with Kabir abstaining.


    Kabir said he sees "both sides" of the issue and does not believe that residents who oppose expanding voting rights are racist or xenophobic.


    "I have been serving them for many years now, and I know they are not that type of people," he said, choking up.


    Only a handful of jurisdictions outside Maryland have taken steps to allow noncitizens to vote, according to Ron Hayduk, an associate professor of political science at San Francisco State University and an expert on noncitizen voting laws.


    San Francisco voters approved a referendum in November to allow noncitizens with children in public schools to vote in school board elections.

    Chicago has allowed noncitizens to vote in school board elections since 1989.


    In Massachusetts, Amherst, Cambridge, Newton and Brookline have passed laws that would allow legal permanent residents to vote but cannot put them into effect unless the state passes its own legislation.


    Despite the passion on both sides, the impact of expanding voting rights to noncitizens has been minimal.

    In Hyattsville, 33 city-only voters registered for local elections in May — the first since the amendment passed in December — and 12 actually voted, according to a letter signed by several advocacy groups.

    In Mount Rainier, 20 noncitizens registered to vote.


    The College Park city clerk will keep a list of registered voters separate from the one maintained by the Prince George's County Board of Elections for county, state and federal contests.


    To vote in city elections, noncitizens must be College Park residents, at least 18 by the date of the next city election and not registered to vote elsewhere. They are ineligible if they are in prison for a felony, unable to communicate a desire to vote or have been convicted of buying or selling votes.


    About 20 percent of the city's 32,275 residents are *foreign-born, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The University of Maryland campus, with more than 27,000 undergraduates, has about 3,600 international students.


    Council members Christine Nagle, Monroe Dennis, Stephanie Stullich and P.J. Brennan voted for the amendment. Council members Mary Cook, Dustyn Kujawaand Robert Day voted against it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...=.3c12cec2bc95
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    "Famously liberal Takoma Park, a small jurisdiction in Maryland, has for several decades allowed noncitizens, including illegal immigrants, to vote in local elections."

    @ House votes in favor of illegal immigrant voting
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    ...
    A charter amendment resolution adopted in 1992 removed the citizenship requirement for voting in Takoma Park for the election of the city’s mayor and six council members, Dickey said.

    "Takoma Park strives to be a welcoming community for all, and that means allowing people who live in our City to have their voices heard, regardless of citizenship status," Dickey added.


    But the right doesn’t extend to federal office.


    The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 states it’s unlawful for noncitizens to vote for candidates seeking federal offices, such as the presidency or a seat in Congress. But it’s not illegal for noncitizens to vote for local offices if it’s allowed by a state constitution, statute or local ordinance.

    ...
    https://www.politifact.com/florida/s...ens-elections/
    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 03-08-2019 at 11:11 PM.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Oct. 2013

    Takoma Park, Md., Gives 16-Year-Olds the Right to Vote
    www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-takoma-gives-teens-voting-rights.html

    In Takoma Park, Md., teenagers can soon start marking the occasion with ... Vote Takoma Park Sees High Turnout Among Teens After ... The youth vote was one of several reforms that the city of 17,000, located just outside ... Twenty years ago, it gave noncitizens the right to vote in its elections.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    The United States Constitution gives the states primary responsibility for determining the “time, place, and manner” of elections in Article I, Section 4. Congress is allowed to modify those rules regarding the time, place, and manner of federal elections. However, Article I, Section 2, affirms that the states have sole authority to determine the qualifications for voting in each state, and by extension the qualifications for becoming registered to vote.

    https://www.alipac.us/f9/kobach-if-y...5/#post1648006
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  7. #7
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    "qualifications" is a broad term and needs to be defined to not include non-citizens and illegal aliens who are not lawfully present in our country.
    TO BECOME AN AMERICAN YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR VALUES ...NOT YOUR LOCATION

    STAY HOME AND BUILD AMERICA ON YOUR SOIL

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