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500+ Noncitizens Register to Vote in D.C.

This Tuesday, the streets of Washington, D.C. saw something that ought to ruffle the feathers of every law-abiding citizen: thousands of residents turned out to vote in local elections, but for the first time, not all were citizens of this country. Thanks to the newly minted Local Resident Voting Rights Act, noncitizens—yes, you heard that right—were granted the ballot in D.C.’s municipal elections in a direct affront to our nation’s foundational principles of citizenship and the sanctity of the vote.

Under this act, anyone residing in the jurisdiction for a mere 30 days, meeting certain age and competency requirements, and not registered elsewhere in the U.S., can now influence local governmental decisions. On Election Day, the D.C. Board of Elections permitted noncitizens to establish residency through various documents. The outcome? Over 500 noncitizens registered to vote, leaning overwhelmingly Democratic, with 310 registering as Democrats, 169 as independents, and a scant 28 as Republicans. A further 16 threw in their lot with the Green Party.

The move has sparked significant backlash. In May, the House of Representatives stepped in to block this law, though it still awaits the Senate’s decision. Amidst this legal limbo, voices of dissent are rising, both from state and federal officials.

This move by D.C. could be merely the first step down a slippery slope toward noncitizens casting ballots in federal elections. It’s a classic progressive gambit—start small, then expand the breach in our electoral integrity until it’s irreparable. Such policies not only undermine the sanctity of our electoral process but also insult every immigrant who has entered this country legally and gone through the rigorous process of earning citizenship. Voting is a sacred duty and a privilege of citizenship. To dilute this privilege by handing it to noncitizens after a mere 30 days of residence is not just irresponsible—it’s an affront to the principles this republic stands on.

As D.C. flirts dangerously with these progressive fantasies, we must ask ourselves: What are we sacrificing in the name of inclusivity? The answer, unfortunately, seems to be the very integrity of our electoral system.

Robert B. Chernin

Robert B. Chernin

Robert is a longtime entrepreneur, business leader, fundraiser, and former radio talk show host. He studied political science at McGill University in Montreal and has spent over 25 years deeply involved in civic affairs at all levels. Robert has consulted on a variety of federal and statewide campaigns at the gubernatorial, congressional, senatorial, and presidential level. He served in leadership roles in the presidential campaigns of President George W. Bush as well as McCain for President. He led Florida’s Victory 2004’s national Jewish outreach operations as Executive Director. In addition, he served on the President’s Committee of the Republican Jewish Coalition.