The city council and mayor of College Park are expected to decide Tuesday whether to allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections, following a heated discussion among residents over the summer about the issue. The majority of residents who have submitted comments in the Washington suburb, home to the University of Maryland’s flagship campus, support the amendment to allow green-card holders, undocumented immigrants and student-visa holders to vote in local elections, Mayor Patrick Wojahn said. The council postponed the initial vote, which was scheduled for a meeting on Aug. 8, so it could consider whether to hold a referendum to let voters decide. “My goal is to keep the conversation tomorrow civil and productive,” Wojahn said. “I’m hoping that we won’t have the circus around it that we had last time.”
Prince George’s police were asked to attend the August meeting after council members received harassing calls and emails from people angry about the amendment.
During the meeting, a veteran whose adopted son had recently become a citizen said the amendment “threatens to dilute the meaning of citizenship in our country.” But a junior at U-Md. told the council that she supports the amendment because she wants her friends and professors — who she said have a variety of immigration statuses — to have a voice in the community.