On Tuesday, the city council of Washington, District of Columbia, voted 12-1 to move forward with legislation that would make it possible for non-citizen residents to vote in next municipal elections.
The law will proceed to a final vote soon, after which it will be delivered to Mayor Muriel Bowser for signature (D).
Our immigrant neighbors, regardless of their legal standing, engage, contribute, and care about our community here in our city. According to The Hill, D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen stated during the Tuesday legislative meeting that "they, along with all other residents of the District of Columbia, deserve the right to have a say in their government.
They settle down here, become productive members of their community, and raise their families. They manage companies on which people rely, and they pay taxes, over which we make decisions over how to spend the money. Yet they are unable to elect local leaders who have control over the decisions that affect their bodies, their businesses, and the money that they pay in taxes, Allen continued.
In the event that the measure is passed into law, residents of the District of Columbia who are not citizens would be granted the right to vote in local elections for positions such as mayor, attorney general, and members of the school board. The fact that the residency requirement for non-citizens was only thirty days was a significant factor that contributed to Councilmember Mary Cheh's decision to vote against the bill.
The development of the bill comes at a time when Washington is dealing with an increasing number of migrants who are being bused into the area from Texas and Arizona. According to a statement released by his office last week, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has transported more than 8,100 migrants to the nation's capital since the beginning of the previous week.
KTVK-TV reports that over the course of the past four months, the state of Arizona has allegedly moved approximately 2,000 migrants to the state of Washington. It was revealed that each trip costed a total of $82,146 for each busload.
The non-citizen voting measure that was recently introduced in the District of Columbia comes at a time when an increasing number of localities around the United States are looking to add non-citizens to their lists of registered voters. To this point, initiatives that are comparable have been met with vigorous legal opposition in the courts.
A decision made in August invalidated a city ordinance in San Francisco that let non-citizens to vote in elections for seats on the school board. According to earlier reporting by The Daily Wire, it was given the go-ahead in 2016. Several organizations, including the United States Justice Foundation and the California Public Policy Foundation, contested the constitutionality of the statute.
Plaintiffs asserted that California requires voters to be U.S. citizens. Because assessing voter qualifications is a topic of statewide significance, and where state law has precedence over conflicting charter city regulations, this duty extends to every election held in the state, even those administered by charter cities.
A measure with the same intention was proposed in New York City, and it would have allowed up to 800,000 non-citizens to vote in city elections. In June, the state's highest court ruled that the law was unconstitutional and invalidated it.
In his decision, Justice Ralph Porzio noted that the New York State Constitution plainly says that citizens who meet the age and residency criteria are entitled to register and vote in elections. This was an excerpt from the constitution of the state of New York. The City of New York does not have the legislative capacity to enact conflicting laws that authorize noncitizens to vote and to go beyond the jurisdiction given to it by the New York State Constitution.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Daily Wire.