Hyattsville: voting rights for non-citizens?
A Hyattsville official wants to extend municipal voting rights to non-citizen residents, a move he hopes will help integrate the city's Hispanic population, The Gazette reports.
"Immigrants ... are making great contributions to this country," said City Council member Carlos Lizanne (Ward 4). "They pay taxes like everybody else."
The measure would only apply to legal residents, and would not allow them to vote in state or federal elections, said Lizanne, who came to the U.S. from El Salvador more than 40 years ago. Voting rights would be an incentive for non-citizens to take an active role in the community, he said.
Data from the 2000 U.S. Census estimates the percentage of foreign-born residents living in Hyattsville at 24.5 percent. A similar measure has been in effect in Takoma Park since 1993, but the non-citizen turnout in subsequent elections has always been low, said Takoma Park City Clerk Jessie Carpenter.
Read more on Carlos Lizanne's effort to give voting rights to non-citizen residents in Hyattsville in The Gazette.
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