Non-citizens living in the District of Columbia may soon be able to vote in local elections.
D.C. council members have crafted a bill to “expand the definition of ‘qualified elector’ to include permanent residents for the purpose of local elections.”
According to Councilwoman Elissa Silverman, nearly one in eight D.C. citizens is an immigrant but only about 30 percent of them are U.S. citizens.
“All long-term residents of a city should have a right to have a choice in who represents them,” she said.
Implementation of the bill would be costly and require substantial changes in the way elections are currently held, the Daily Caller reports.
Clifford Tatum, director of the district’s Board of Elections, told council members that it would “require significant financial resources” to implement the law. He also explained that elections might then need to be held every year, alternating between local and national elections.
The discussion comes on the heels of a 2014 decision to allow illegal immigrants in D.C. to obtain drivers’ licenses.
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