As municipalities in deep-blue Maryland continue to grant legal and illegal aliens access to the ballot box, one leftist is pushing for a larger movement to combat the “mass disenfranchisement” of non-U.S. citizens in the Trump era.
College Park, Maryland, home to the main campus for the University of Maryland and roughly 20,000 residents overall, is currently reviewing a policy that would open regular ballot access to illegal aliens for municipal elections. While the town would be the largest to do so in the Mid-Atlantic, it would not be the first. The Baltimore Sun reports that College Park would be the eleventh city between Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties; both sharing boundaries with Washington, D.C.
The legality of such proposals and policies are not under question in Maryland, which is why the illegal alien voting rights movement sees consistent success. State law has allowed for townships to determine voter eligibility for municipal elections going back to the mid-1800s. The local paper notes that Barnesville in Montgomery County maintains the longest-running rule, dating back to 1918. The trend began picking up steam in the 1970s with larger jurisdictions joining in thereafter.
The Sun also adds that a certain foreign influence in elections has come into play: “support for noncitizen voting here has also been driven by the large numbers of diplomatic staff who work in Washington and live in the Maryland suburbs.”
Justifications for illegal alien voting rights tend to follow similar tracks in local and national debates. Perhaps the most common argument is the “we’ve allowed them to vote before” angle. While the United States has experimented with franchise eligibility over the ages, current federal law prohibits any non-U.S. citizen from participating in an election, much less registering to vote. Felony convictions, deportation, and barriers to naturalization are all intended deterrents—despite the fact that no requirement rests on voter registrars to verify claims of citizenship during the process.
Other liberal states show serious conversations on illegal alien voting recently. One activist in California is now dialing up the rhetoric well beyond historic claims and appeals to broadening “democracy”, favoring political overtones.
Joe Matthews writes in the Sacramento Bee that it’s time to “go on offense” against President Donald Trump’s larger concerns for election integrity by empowering noncitizens to vote.
“Given Trump’s threats to both immigrants and democracy, this is the moment to give the franchise back to noncitizens,” Matthews argues. He also compares California to an “apartheid” state until it grants voting rights to all present:
California is home to about five million adults (that’s one-in-six adults) who can’t vote because they’re not citizens. This mass disenfranchisement is an affront to American principles. Taxation without representation? Noncitizens pay taxes, but are not represented. Consent of the governed? Noncitizens must follow our laws – but can’t vote to consent. Home of the brave? Noncitizens serve in the military but can’t vote for the government that sends them to war.
We Californians tolerate this apartheid, even though the lesser status of noncitizens – especially the 2 million-plus undocumented Californians – makes them more vulnerable to abuse and removal from the country they’ve helped build. To its credit, California has taken steps on behalf of noncitizens, who now enjoy in-state tuition to our public universities, driver’s licenses, the ability to practice the law, and – if they are children – state-funded health care.
Rather than admitting that the referenced actions are pathways to naturalization, the activist contends that “Californians won’t be equal” until all have ballots, only further blurring the distinctions between citizen and not. The column laments the fact, however, that Governor Jerry Brown (D) serves as a major impediment to statewide change, given his record of opposing such matters.
While Maryland and select portions of New York, California, and Illinois struggle with granting voting rights to illegal aliens, Virginia was recently reported to be identifying and removing non-U.S. citizens from voter rolls at an alarming rate. The Public Interest Legal Foundation found more than 5,500 voters were canceled by the Commonwealth over citizenship concerns in May, Breitbart Texas reported.
Local clerks in Maryland report that steps are taken to keep illegal aliens from voting in races they are not eligible for, should elections be held on the same day. Takoma Park told the Baltimore paper that separate registration lists are kept to prevent ballot confusion.
The College Park City Council is slated to debate the measure on Tuesday, August 8.