Majority of House Dems vote to allow noncitizen voting in DC

 May 24, 2024

Thursday, the House of Representatives made progress on a resolution to repeal a law in Washington, D.C. that grants the right to vote in local elections to noncitizens.

A sizable 52 Democrats sided with the Republicans on the measure, while 143 Democrats cast a no
vote, for a final tally of 262 to 143, as Fox News reported.

The progressive city council of Washington, D.C., enacted the legislation in 2022, and it merely recently withstood a court challenge in early this year.

Lawmaker's Comments

Opposition from the Republican Party cautioned that granting non-Americans the authority to weigh in on which local officials govern the nation's capital could potentially compromise national security.

"What we're doing is, we are talking about passing a law that prohibits citizens of foreign countries from voting in elections in D.C." Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., said during debate for the bill.

"It prohibits people that are here illegally from voting in elections. It prohibits spies from China from voting in elections. It prohibits people that are here from Russia that have wishes of ill will in the United States from voting in the elections in D.C.."

The left has denied criticism from Republican lawmakers who have accused Democrats of attempting to tip the scales at the polls by encouraging illegal immigrants to register to vote.

Democrats Take

"It would, of course, be crazy for an undocumented person to attach their name to a public and transparent document like a voter registration document…we were not able to find any evidence that there were any undocumented people doing so," said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.

"In other words, the district's use of this practice for local elections and local government functions appears to be in accord with the way it's always been used, which is for permanent residents who are part of the community, who are on the pathway to citizenship."

The measure was introduced last year by Representative August Pfluger ( R-Texas) who underscored the razor-thin margins by which pivotal elections have been decided in recent times. He argued that granting undocumented individuals the right to vote could potentially determine the outcome of an entire election.

"They're encouraging people to vote for mayor, for attorney general, for members of the state Board of Education and more.

"And some may argue that, yes, these are just local elections. Well, there are democratic elections that regularly determine taxation, the criminal code…and the election of the various city council members who decide ordinances like who gets to vote. Not to mention that many of these are decided by close margins," Pfluger said.

It is the most recent initiative in a broader assault on voting security that Republican leaders in the House are implementing approximately six months prior to the November 2024 elections.

Concurrently with the House-wide vote on the local law in D.C., a significant House committee is preparing to move forward with a bill that would increase penalties and enforcement for undocumented voters in federal elections.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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