Non-Citizen Voting Efforts Fail in San Francisco and Portland, Maine

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010 at 9:56 am

A ballot question in Portland, Maine, that would have given legal immigrants the right to vote in city elections was voted down yesterday, with 52 percent voting against it and 48 percent voting in support. The measure would have allowed residents who had not yet obtained citizenship — but not undocumented immigrants — to vote for city council, school board and other local issues.

I wrote a story about the Portland effort last month, and supporters told me the initiative was based on making elections fairer to legal residents. It takes at least five years for immigrants legally in the country to become citizens, and can be much longer because of the difficulty of the citizenship test and steep naturalization fees. In the meantime, non-citizens pay taxes and use city services, and immigrant rights groups argued they should be allowed to impact the elections.

Opponents of the law, on the other hand, said voting should be limited to citizens; otherwise, legal residents would have little incentive to complete the naturalization process.

In San Francisco, a ballot provision to allow parents of public school students — including illegal immigrants — to vote in school board elections also failed, 54 percent to 46 percent. If it had passed, San Francisco would have joined Chicago as one of the few cities that allows undocumented immigrants to vote in school elections if their children attend school. Non-citizens are banned from voting in most of the country, except in a few Maryland cities. Early in the country’s history, non-citizens often voted.

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10 Comments

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Pingback posted November 3, 2010 @ 10:30 am

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Pingback posted November 3, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

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Pingback posted November 3, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

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Jane345
Comment posted November 3, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

Voting is a privilege reserved for citizens. If it takes 5 years to become a citizen, that is 52 weeks x 5 years = $260 weeks. If the fee is $595 to become a citizen, you put away $2.29 per week for 5 years and you have enough money. It is called budgeting, which has apparently become a lost art in America. My ancestors learned the language and passed the test. It you want it badly enough, citizenship is attainable. As far as the fees being too high, you're in for a rude awakening everywhere. Fees are high for citizens too: auto registration, college fees, town fees. Why should citizenship be any different?


aerodog
Comment posted November 3, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

The proposal to allow anyone who is a citizen of ANOTHER country to vote in OUR country, just as if they were citizens here, has been proposed by those who don't place any importance on citizenship, patriotism, and loyalty to one's own country. One has only to watch a La Raza demonstration, replete with various South American flags and signs saying F*** the USA, to see where many noncitizen's true loyalties and interests lie.


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Pingback posted November 3, 2010 @ 11:48 pm

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Non-Citizen Voting Efforts Fail in San Francisco and Portland, Maine – The Washington Independent | Portland, ME Blog
Pingback posted November 4, 2010 @ 4:00 am

[...] Non-Citizen Voting Efforts Fail in San Francisco and Portland, MaineThe Washington IndependentA ballot question in Portland, Maine, that would have given legal immigrants the right to vote in city elections was voted …Maine's largest city rejects measure allowing noncitizens to vote in municipal …The Canadian PressVoters in Portland, Maine reject measure to extend voting rights to non-citizensExaminer.comPortland Voters Reject Non-Citizen VotingMPBN NewsPress Heraldall 160 news articles » [...]


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Pingback posted November 4, 2010 @ 4:11 pm

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WhathappenedtoUSA?
Comment posted November 4, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

It is beyond belief that this is even possible as a ballot initiative. The democrats are all for it, because they guarantee a voting block for for more hand outs. Ridiculous, and insane that 46% actually voted for this.


Maine’s largest city rejects measure allowing noncitizens to vote in municipal … – The Canadian Press | Portland, ME Blog
Pingback posted November 6, 2010 @ 3:59 am

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