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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

National: Professor says right to vote in U.S. ‘has never been intrinsically tied to citizenship’ | Providence Journal

Extending voting rights to non-citizens is a hot topic from Burlington, Vt., to New York City to San Francisco. Supporters say allowing non-citizens to vote would give members of the community, including large numbers who pay taxes and own property, a voice in local political affairs. Opponents argue that extending voting privileges to immigrants would demean the value of citizenship and effectively disenfranchise legitimate citizen voters by diluting their vote. Ron Hayduk, a political science professor at Queens College, City University of New York,  supported expanding voting rights in a commentary “Noncitizens voting? It’s only fair,” published Jan. 1, 2015, in The Providence Journal. … In stating his case, Hayduk made this provocative statement: “But what most don’t know is that the right to vote in this country has never been intrinsically tied to citizenship.”

District of Columbia: Grosso Re-Introduces Bill To Allow Local Voting Privileges For Legal Non-Citizens | DCist

The D.C. Council will once again try to pass a bill allowing green card holders the right to vote in local elections. Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) introduced a bill yesterday that would grant permanent resident immigrants municipal voting privileges. Councilmembers Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), and Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) joined him in co-introducing the bill. “What most District residents care about are the tangible things that affect their day-to-day lives, like potholes, playgrounds, taxes, snow removal, trash collection, red light cameras and more,” Grosso said in a statement. “Unfortunately, not all of our residents have a say in choosing the officials who make these decisions. In my opinion, that is unjust.”

Vermont: Burlington Residents to Decide on Noncitizen Voting | Seven Days

In 2007, an Italian ecologist led a group of local immigrants in trying to convince Burlington residents to allow people who weren’t U.S. citizens to vote on Town Meeting Day. The proposal elicited reactions so vitriolic that the group disbanded. Four years later, Progressive Councilor Vince Brennan asked the city council to put that question to voters. It died during deliberations. By the time Brennan brought the proposal up again in 2014, things had changed: All but two councilors agreed to put the question on Burlington’s ballot this March. The once-ambivalent Mayor Miro Weinberger supported the decision, too.

National: Today’s voting freakout: noncitizens are coming to steal your election | Los Angeles Times

With only a few days left before election day, pretexts for panic over the sanctity of the ballot box are dwindling down to a precious few. Two political scientists from Virginia’s Old Dominion University have done their part, with an article on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage politics website asserting that control of the Senate could be “decided by illegal votes cast by non-citizens” on Tuesday. The column by Jesse Richman and David Earnest is based on their longer paper in the journal Electoral Studies. Their methodology already has been challenged by other political scientists who argue that Richman’s and Earnest’s statistical sample doesn’t warrant their conclusions. That hasn’t kept some right-wing pundits from using it as a justification for the wholesale restrictions on voting imposed by Republican state governments across the nation. That’s because the Old Dominion researchers conclude that the noncitizens at issue tend to skew Democratic.’s headline was “Study: Voting by non-citizens tips balance for Democrats.” RedState’s was “Study: Illegal votes can determine elections; Voter ID not sufficient.” Keep your eye on that RedState headline for a clue to how the study, as meager as it is, will be misused in the voter ID wars. What Richman and Earnest say isn’t that Voter ID is “not sufficient”; they say it’s not effective. In fact, they call it “strikingly ineffective” at stemming non-citizen voting.

Editorials: Methodological challenges affect study of non-citizens’ voting | Michael Tesler/The Washington Post

A recent Monkey Cage piece by political scientists Jesse Richman and David Earnest, which suggested that non-citizen voting could decide the 2014 Election, received considerable media attention over the weekend. In particular, columns such as’s “Study: Voting by Non-Citizens Tips Balance for Democrats” and the National Review’s “Jaw-Dropping Study Claims Large Numbers of Non-Citizens Vote in U.S” cited results from the authors’ forthcoming Electoral Studies article to confirm conservatives’ worst fears about voter fraud in the United States. A number of academics and commentators have already expressedskepticism about the paper’s assumptions and conclusions, though. In aseries of tweets, New York Times columnist Nate Cohn  focused his criticism on Richman et al’s use of Cooperative Congressional Election Study data to make inferences about the non-citizen voting population. That critique has some merit, too. The 2008 and 2010 CCES surveyed large opt-in Internet samples constructed by the polling firm YouGov to be nationally representative of the adult citizen population. Consequently, the assumption that non-citizens, who volunteered to take online surveys administered in English about American politics, would somehow be representative of the entire non-citizen population seems tenuous at best.

Editorials: Iowa Secretary of State Just Proved That Voter ID Laws Are Unnecessary | ThinkProgress

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R), one of the nation’s most enthusiastic voter suppressors, released a report on Thursday outlining the results a two-year investigation into possible voter fraud, conducted by the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at his request. But while Schultz has frequently scared Iowa voters with allegations of thousands of possible non-citizens voting in the state and living people showing up at the polls to cast ballots in the name of dead voters, the investigation revealed found an infinitesimal number of illegal votes cast and zero cases of impersonation at the polls. … Nearly two years and $250,000 later, Schultz said that 238 total cases of suspected election misconduct were investigated. Investigators “found evidence of election misconduct in 117 cases that cancelled out the votes of legitimate Iowa voters,” he notes, and 17 more cases are still being investigated. One of those cases resulted in a not-guilty verdict and four cases were dismissed. Combined, that means at most 134 instances of fraudulent voting were found in Iowa over several elections, compared with 1,589,951 votes cast in the 2012 general elections alone. That means, at most, the investigation found a 0.008427933% rate of voter fraud.

Voting Blogs: The Kobach Case as Voting Rights Jurisprudence | More Soft Money Hard Law

Make what you will of Judge Melgren’s analysis of preemption, or the hints of his constitutional stance on the federal-state balance of authority under the Elections Clause—his decision in Kobach v. The United States Election Assistance Commissionis a mechanical exercise that leaves the reader without any sense of what this case isabout. Kansas and Arizona have not merely made a “determination” of what they need to verify the citizenship of state residents seeking to become voters. The history behind this litigation is more complex, with more history to it, and the court knew it.  It chose, however, to follow example of the Supreme Court and to do as the High Court has done in other cases, like Purcell v. Gonzalez and Crawford v. Marion County, and leave the real world out. Some might say that the Supreme Court is bound to disregard the politics behind these cases and train its eye on the “law” alone.  But the Justices’ fidelity to this proposition is mixed.  Justice Scalia, for example, has enlivened his constitutional position on campaign finance doctrine with references to the history of incumbent manipulation of the campaign finance laws—including evidence of political mischief that he found quite compelling in the very case under review.

Ohio: No evidence of plot to register non-citizen voters | MSNBC

Seventeen non-citizens voted in the November 2012 election in Ohio, Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Wednesday morning, but he acknowledged that there’s no evidence of an organized effort to register non-citizens. “It exists, it’s rare, violators will be held accountable,” Husted said of non-citizen voting during a press conference at his Columbus office. Around 5.63 million total votes were cast in the election. The announcement comes as state Republicans are preparing to pass a slew of voting restrictions next month.  In addition to the 17 non-citizens who voted, another 274 non-citizens registered to vote, added Husted, a Republican. He said they all had provided paperwork to the state’s motor vehicles department, both before and after the November 2012 election, demonstrating their non-citizenship status. But he allowed that some of the 274 could have become citizens since registering.

Michigan: Investigation Sought Of Non-Citizen Voting In Michigan | Associated Press

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says she’s asked the state Attorney General’s office to investigate 10 people who aren’t U.S. citizens but have voted in past Michigan elections. In a letter to Attorney General Bill Schuette, Johnson said they were referring the cases “for  investigation, and if appropriate, prosecution. The law is clear – you must be a U.S. citizen to register to vote and to  vote on Election Day,” Johnson said in a statement. “We have races that are decided on a  handful of votes, and ballots cast by ineligible voters cancel out those by legitimate voters.”

District of Columbia: DC to Consider Voting Rights Bill for Non-Citizens | Governing

The City Council in Washington, D.C., will consider a bill to grant voting rights to legal immigrants who are not citizens. Councilman David Grosso introduced the measure Dec. 3 along with three other councilmembers, Jim Graham, Muriel Bowser and Tommy Wells. It would pertain to several local elections, including those for the D.C. Board of Education, advisory neighborhood commissions, the city’s attorney general, the city council, the mayor and any city initiatives or referendums. “Pot holes, community centers, playgrounds, minimum wage, taxes, supercans, snow removal, alley closings, alcohol license moratoriums, red light cameras…these are all important issues that voters in the District of Columbia entrust their leaders with,” Grosso wrote in a blog post. “Not all of our residents have say in choosing the individuals who make these decisions. In my opinion, that is unjust.”