Half a dozen Montgomery County municipalities could wind up in court this summer, according to a Baltimore County politician whose bill would disenfranchise some local residents. Sponsored by Del. Patrick McDonough (R-Dist. 7) of Middle River, House Bill 473 targets municipalities in Montgomery, the only region in Maryland where local provisions enfranchise noncitizens. The bill would prohibit noncitizen from voting in the state and nullify provisions that allow the practice, including in Barnesville, Garrett Park, Glen Echo, Martin’s Additions, Somerset and Takoma Park. “I feel it’s unconstitutional, and un-American, to allow people who are not citizens to vote,” McDonough said.
A bill similar to McDonough’s proposal received an unfavorable report in a House committee in 1992, said state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park, who teaches constitutional law at American University. McDonough does not think the Ways and Means Committee will pass the bill, and expects a court battle this summer, after he discusses the subject with conservative government watchdog Judicial Watch.
In January 2011, the organization filed suit against the Montgomery College Board of Trustees for granting in county tuition rates to students who graduated from county public schools, regardless of residency or immigration status. The lawsuit was dismissed by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge; it is being appealed.