As if President Trump’s America needed more reason to hate California, here comes news that San Francisco began to register noncitizens last week to vote for local school board races this November. Actually, it’s old news: Voters OK’d the plan in 2016 with the passage of Measure N. But its implementation has triggered Fox News and their peers, and has Republican politicians whispering that this is the latest Democratic plot to use undocumented Mexicans to destroy America — never mind that most of the people now eligible to vote in San Francisco are actually Chinese. Conservatives need to calm down. Noncitizen voting already is happening in some Maryland towns, and democracy there is still alive. Giving them access to the ballot box is a great gesture — it lets more people hold government accountable, adds a shot of vitality to our democracy, blah blah blah.
But why stop at San Francisco? The state Legislature should move toward letting noncitizen residents — over 18, of course — vote in all local and state elections.
It’s a steep task that will require changing California’s Constitution. But the achievement would ensure that at a time when the state is more inequitable than ever, everyone has a voice.
Noncitizens, legal and not, are ready. Many have been residents for decades; the younger ones learned the principles of American democracy in our school systems, and some use that knowledge to volunteer for candidates and causes. Their economic power and concern for our collective future is qualification enough to earn a place in the voting booth.
Full Article: Let noncitizens vote. What’s the worst that could happen?.