non-citizen voting

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Canada: Vancouver council pushes province to allow permanent residents right to vote | Vancouver Courier

Vancouver city council unanimously agreed Wednesday to request the provincial government allow permanent residents—estimated at 60,000 in Vancouver­­–the right to vote in the Oct. 20 municipal election. The vote, however, didn’t come without some reservations from NPA Coun. Elizabeth Ball who argued it was “a gift” to vote and a privilege that comes with being and becoming a Canadian citizen. “Coming to Canada and becoming a citizen is highly coveted all around the world,” she told council. “There are reasons why it’s coveted because we are a civilized society with rules, and those rules allow us all to live together in a relatively happy way.”

Full Article: Vancouver council pushes province to allow permanent residents right to vote.

Luxembourg: Government attempts to boost foreign voting with online registration | Luxemburger Wort

In an effort to attract more foreign residents to vote, Luxembourg’s government is attempting to make the process easier by allowing non-nationals to register on the electoral roll via the internet. The possibility for electronic registration has now been added to the reform of the electoral law approved by the government in the Council of Ministers. The new law will still have to pass through parliament.

Full Article: Luxemburger Wort - Luxembourg attempts to boost foreign voting with online registration.

California: San Francisco counters Trump rhetoric with move for non-citizen local voting | The Guardian

Politicians in San Francisco are hoping that a backlash to Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric will motivate local voters to move in the opposite direction and grant non-citizens the right to vote. An amendment to the city charter will be placed on the ballot in November to allow the parents and guardians of schoolchildren – citizen or non, documented or undocumented – to vote in school board elections, following a 10-1 vote by the board of supervisors on Tuesday. “San Francisco always goes against the grain when there are assaults on people’s liberties,” said supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the proposal. “This is about fairness and equity, providing an opportunity for all parents to have a voice.” This will be San Francisco voters’ third chance to approve such a measure, after unsuccessful efforts in 2004 and 2010.

Full Article: San Francisco counters Trump rhetoric with move for non-citizen local voting | US news | The Guardian.

United Kingdom: EU referendum: The non-Britons planning to vote | BBC

It might seem peculiar that a young Australian here in Britain on a two-year working holiday is allowed to have a say on whether the UK should leave the European Union. But Michael Ingle, a 27-year-old physiotherapist living in Surrey, defends his right to participate in the 23 June referendum. He says that as a taxpayer, and a citizen of the Commonwealth, what happens to Britain is important to him and will have ramifications for the wider world well beyond the cliffs of Dover. “It’s not just about Britain for me, which is why I’ve taken an interest in it,” Mr Ingle, from Sydney, says. “It’s about the West and the stability of this continent.”

Full Article: EU referendum: The non-Britons planning to vote - BBC News.

Switzerland: Should foreigners in Switzerland be allowed to vote? | Expatica Switzerland

Foreigners can’t vote in Switzerland yet account for a quarter of the Swiss population. Should this change or do voting rights need to be ‘earned’, as one Swiss politician said? Is this acceptable in a fully-fledged direct democracy? Swiss and German politicians are divided in their opinions. “Swiss living abroad are also foreigners in their countries of residency. They often have a firm view of what’s happening in Switzerland, and at the same time they take part in political life in their adopted countries,” Walter Leimgruber, President of the Federal Migration Commission, pointed out at a recent event. Leimgruber’s conclusion is that the Swiss living abroad are citizens of two states, and living proof that political engagement is possible in two societies. In his view, they’re a good example of how foreigners can enjoy political participation wherever they live, regardless of nationality.

Full Article: Should foreigners in Switzerland be allowed to vote? | News | Expatica Switzerland.

Maryland: Non-U.S. citizens likely to vote in Hyattsville city elections soon | Hyattsville Life & Times

At the Jan. 4 Hyattsville City Council meeting, councilmembers discussed a motion that would direct the city attorney to draw up a charter amendment concerning the qualifications of voters in municipal elections. The council is likely to pass the motion, which was submitted jointly by Council President Edouard Haba (Ward 4), Council Vice President Bart Lawrence, and Councilmembers Patrick Paschall (Ward 3) and Joseph Solomon (Ward 5). The biggest change proposed by this new legislation would allow non-U.S. citizens — even undocumented residents — to vote in municipal elections. According to a city memo, Maryland ended non-citizen voting rights in 1851, but left it up to municipalities to decide local voting rights. Six Maryland cities currently allow non-citizens to vote: Takoma Park, Barnesville, Garrett Park, Glen Echo, Martin’s Additions and Somerset.

Full Article: Non-U.S. citizens likely to vote in city elections soon | Hyattsville Life & Times.

Editorials: Permanent Canadian residents should have the vote | Winnipeg Free Press

Perhaps no country has had greater success than Canada in welcoming newcomers. This is particularly so in our big cities, which have become some of the most harmoniously diverse places in the world. But for a country that celebrates diversity — Canada was the first country in the world to make multiculturalism official policy, and we are now the world’s second-most-heterogeneous society — we are less committed to the backbone of democratic society: voting rights. Recognizing permanent residents pay local taxes and use city services, some 50 countries around the world — including Ireland, New Zealand and Belgium — allow resident non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. Despite a growing movement among Canadian cities to enfranchise permanent residents — the decision lies with provincial legislatures, not municipal councils — Canada is not among them.

Full Article: Permanent residents should have the vote - Winnipeg Free Press.

France: Prime Minister scraps pledge to let foreigners vote | Politico

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said his government had no plan to let foreigners vote in local elections, backpedaling formally on a 2012 campaign pledge by Socialist President François Hollande. The statement came as Valls’ Socialist party tried to drum up support ahead of local elections in December. Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration National Front party is expected to capture at least two regional council seats from the Socialists, which it accuses of letting too many migrants into the country. “That promise, in all senses, will not be implemented,” Valls said during a speech Tuesday at Paris’ prestigious Sciences Po university. “And I am convinced that it will not be proposed again during the presidential election.”

Luxembourg: 105,000 potential new voters in Luxembourg | Luxemburger Wort

105,000 new voters could potentially join Luxembourg’s electoral register if a proposal enabling foreign residents to vote finds favour with Luxembourgers. On June 7, Luxembourgers will vote in a referendum to decide, among other things, whether or not to allow foreign residents who meet certain criteria to vote in legislative elections. According to figures published by STATEC, potentially 105,000 foreign residents meet the 10-year residency criterion being proposed.

Full Article: Luxemburger Wort - 105,000 potential new voters in Luxembourg.

Ohio: Republicans push new voter ID bill | MSNBC

With 2016 approaching, Ohio Republicans are making a new push for a voter ID bill—setting the stage for another battle over voting in the nation’s most pivotal swing state. Legislation introduced last week by conservatives in the statehouse would require that voters show a driver’s license, passport or military ID. They could also get a special state ID card which costs $8.50, or is free for those who make less than the federal poverty line—$11,770 a year. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Andrew Brenner, has offered the usual rationale: the need to stop illegal voting by non-residents, non-citizens or others.

Full Article: Ohio Republicans push new voter ID bill | MSNBC.

Luxembourg: Referendum campaign gets underway | Luxemburger Wort

Official campaigning for Luxembourg’s referendum began on Monday with politicians embarking on a shoe-string campaign to encourage Luxembourgers to follow their lead. The referendum itself takes place on June 7 when Luxembourgers will be asked to vote on three specific questions. The first question concerns the lowering of the voting age of Luxembourgers from 18 to 16 years old. The proposal would make it optional for 16 and 17-year-olds to vote, unlike the rest of the population, for which voting is compulsory. The second question explores the proposal of enabling foreign residents to vote in national elections in Luxembourg. Already, they may vote in local and European elections provided they meet certain criteria.

Full Article: Luxemburger Wort - Referendum campaign gets underway in Luxembourg.

India: E-voting for Non-Resident Indians too risky, say Rajya Sabha members | The Times of India

Cutting across party lines, members of Rajya Sabha on Tuesday supported the calling attention notice by Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad about the risks involved in giving voting rights to Non-Resident Indians through proxy voting or e-postal ballots. The members also pointed out that government needs to do something about millions of migrant workers who are denied voting rights within the country. Bhupendra Singh, BJP member from Odisha, and NDA leaders like Anil Desai of Shiv Sena and Naresh Gujral of Akali Dal said wider consultation is needed for the proposal of e-ballot for NRIs as it may not be very secure and advised the government not to rush into amending the Representation of People’s Act. They said supremacy of Parliament in framing laws should not be usurped by the Supreme Court.

Full Article: E-voting for NRIs too risky, say Rajya Sabha members - The Times of India.

Luxembourg: New Zealand – a model for Luxembourg foreigner voting rights? | Luxembourg Wort

While Luxembourg is pondering whether to give foreign nationals the right to vote, in New Zealand the measure has become a “non-issue” since it was introduced some 50 years ago, according to a legal expert. Out of 193 officially recognised states currently only four allow non-nationals the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Aside from New Zealand, these include Chile, Uruguay and Malawi. Criteria vary widely. While in Chile foreigners need to have lived in the country for five years, in Malawi this rises to seven, while Uruguay has a residence requirement of 15 years. New Zealand first introduced voting rights for all residents in 1975, amending legislation in 1993 to state that only “permanent residents” who have lived in the country for over two years are eligible to vote. Compared to Luxembourg’s proposal of a 10-year residence period this seems comparatively low. In return, immigration criteria are somewhat stricter than in the Grand Duchy, although in many areas similar policies apply, for example employment.

Full Article: Luxemburger Wort - New Zealand – a model for Luxembourg foreigner voting rights?.

New York: Non-citizens in New York City could soon be given the right to vote | The Guardian

New York City is routinely described as a “global hub”, a place so thoroughly penetrated by international capital and migration that it seems at once within and without the United States. It is the centre of American commerce and media, but its politics, demographics and worldly outlook make the Big Apple an outlier. New York may be about to become even more distinct. The left-leaning New York City council is currently drafting legislation that would allow all legal residents, regardless of citizenship, the right to vote in city elections. If the measure passes into law, it would mark a major victory for a voting rights campaign that seeks to enfranchise non-citizen voters in local elections across the country. A few towns already permit non-citizen residents to vote locally, but New York City would be by far the largest jurisdiction to do so.

Full Article: Non-citizens in New York City could soon be given the right to vote | US news | The Guardian.

Editorials: Ohio should focus on better voter access | Sean Wright/Cincinnati Inquirer

It is often remarked, “So goes Ohio, so goes the nation,” a common sentiment signifying that Ohio is a bellwether state for national politics. Perhaps it’s time to ask: Where is Ohio going? If you’re Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, you may think Ohio is heading toward rampant voter fraud. Last week, Husted released the results of an exhaustive investigation into non-citizen voting in Ohio, something he considers an “expanding loophole.” But despite the Republican’s alarmist calls, the investigation identified just 145 cases of non-Ohio citizens illegally registered to vote, an amount totaling a miniscule two ten-thousandths of a percent of the 7.7 million registered Ohio voters. Unsurprisingly, a similar investigation released by Husted’s office in 2013 found that only 0.0003 percent of all ballots casted in the state were by non-citizens.

Full Article: Ohio should focus on better voter access.

District of Columbia: D.C., other cities debate whether legal immigrants should have voting rights | The Washington Post

David Nolan and Helen Searls are a professional couple in the District, active in their children’s school and local civic associations. As taxpayers and longtime residents, they feel they have a duty to be involved in public life. But as legal immigrants who have not become U.S. citizens, they have no right to vote — even in local elections. “It’s frustrating at election time to have no say in what’s happening,” said the British-born Searls, 54, who works at a media company. “Washington has people from all over the world. If they are engaged and participating in public issues, it benefits the city.” Searls and Nolan are among 54,000 immigrants in the District — and about 12 million nationwide — who have been granted green cards that allow them to remain in the United States permanently. Most are sponsored by relatives or employers. They pay taxes and serve in the armed forces. Yet in all but a handful of localities, they have no voting rights. Last month, for the third time in a decade, a bill was introduced in the D.C. Council to allow legal immigrants to vote locally. The measure has little chance of passage, but it is illustrative of a growing movement to expand local voting rights to noncitizens that has spawned similar proposals in several dozen communities across the country.

Full Article: D.C., other cities debate whether legal immigrants should have voting rights - The Washington Post.

Myanmar: White card vote prompts call for ministry resolution | Myanmar Times

The status of holders of temporary IDs – widely known as white cards – should be clarified as soon as possible, a leading MP said last week, as parliament voted to give them voting rights in an upcoming national referendum. Meanwhile, the head of an ethnic Rakhine party said he plans to submit the issue to the Constitutional Tribunal. U Zaw Myint Pe, chair of the Amyotha Hluttaw National Planning Affairs Committee, urged the Ministry of Immigration and Population to settle the matter without delay. “If the problem persists into the next generation, it will be rather difficult to settle it. White card holders should not be allowed to vote. They should be recognised as citizens or foreigners,” said U Zaw Myint Pe said. He made the comments on February 4, two days after the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw voted 328 to 79 to approve a proposal from President U Thein Sein that people who voted in the 2010 election should have the right to vote in a referendum scheduled for May.

Full Article: White card vote prompts call for ministry resolution.

Puerto Rico: Voting Rights For Noncitizens Debated | International Business Times

Puerto Rico is undergoing a widespread debate regarding the governor’s plans to support a bill extending voting rights to all island residents, regardless of immigration status. Puerto Rico’s largely Dominican immigrant community has celebrated the proposal, but opponents say the move will undermine the privileges granted by citizenship. Gov. Alejandro García Padilla declared last month he would submit legislation allowing all noncitizen residents to vote in islandwide elections, a move with significant implications for the hundreds of thousands of Dominican immigrants estimated to be living on the island.

Full Article: Puerto Rico To Debate Voting Rights For Noncitizens.

Luxembourg: Campaigners push for yes vote on foreigner voting rights | Luxemburger Wort

Expat organisations in Luxembourg have relaunched their migration and integration platform in a bid to educate the public and promote foreigner voting rights. On June 7, this year, Luxembourg’s electorate will decide whether or not it approves of voting rights for foreign nationals resident in the country in legislative elections. Ahead of this consultative poll, the Migration and Integration platform or MINTÉ is campaigning in favour of a yes vote.

Full Article: Luxemburger Wort - Campaigners push for yes vote on foreigner voting rights.

Puerto Rico: Governer Proposes Voting Rights for All, Regardless of Immigration Status | Good Magazine

Puerto Rico governer Alejandro Garcia Padilla has announced plans for legislation that would grant the right to vote to all of its estimated 200,000-400,000 undocumented immigrants. The statements came at a recent public meeting with the president of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina, during which the two politicians signed various agreements to tackle economics, education, security, and environmental issues together. “Today, we would like to break down the barriers that prevent immigrants from contributing all that they truly can to economic recovery and social progress in Puerto Rico,” said Padilla earlier this month.