DC Board Of Elections Encourages Noncitizen Voting In Local Elections Prompting GOP Scrutiny

The Washington D.C. Board of Elections has been actively encouraging noncitizens to vote in local elections following the passage of the Local Resident Voting Rights Act in October 2022. The law allows some noncitizens to vote in local elections if they have resided in the city for at least 30 days but has drawn scrutiny from Republicans who argue that it undermines election integrity.

House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-WI) sent a letter to the board expressing concern about the legislation and the board’s promotion of noncitizen voting. Steil pointed to a virtual townhall hosted by board staff focused on the ability of noncitizen D.C. residents to vote and a postcard mailed by the board advocating for noncitizens to register to vote in D.C. elections.

“Not only is D.C. allowing non-citizens to vote but the Board is actively encouraging it” Steil said in the letter. He demanded answers to various questions including how election workers will differentiate between those qualified to vote and those not and whether foreign nationals representing their capitals as embassy personnel will be able to vote.

The board’s encouragement of noncitizen voting has prompted criticism from Republicans who argue that American elections should be for American citizens only. The law remains in effect despite an unsuccessful effort in Congress to overturn it.

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