Democrats in Rhode Island are pushing for a controversial new bill that would grant the state’s localities the power to allow non-citizens, including illegal aliens, the right to vote in municipal elections, according to a report from The Federalist.
The bill, known as H 5461, would permit cities and towns to “allow all residents of the municipality to vote in municipal elections for municipal officeholders regardless of the immigration status of the residents.”
The legislation would require the locality’s board of canvassers to work with the secretary of state and board of elections to establish the necessary forms, instructions, and regulations to ensure that any ballot for municipal officeholders is kept separate and counted separately.
However, the bill does not specify what constitutes proof of residency.
According to the Rhode Island Constitution, only U.S. citizens over the age of 18 who have lived in the state and their town for 30 days or more, and are registered to vote 30 days before Election Day, are eligible to vote.
Despite this, one of the bill’s sponsors, Democrat Rep. Enrique Sanchez, does not believe that amending the state’s constitution would be necessary to allow non-citizens to vote.
Sanchez claims that there are neighborhoods with such large immigrant populations that have “less of a voice because many people can’t vote.”
If the bill becomes law and a town adopts an ordinance allowing non-citizen voting, it would mean not only illegal aliens but also international students attending Rhode Island universities within the jurisdiction would be able to vote in that locality’s municipal elections.
The push for non-citizen voting is not exclusive to Rhode Island, with blue states across the country passing or considering resolutions permitting it in certain municipal elections, including San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C.