Democrats in the Rhode Island General Assembly have introduced legislation that, if passed, would grant localities the ability to give non-U.S. citizens the right to vote in municipal elections. The measure marks the latest attempt by leftists to give foreigners and, in this case, even illegal immigrants the opportunity to influence the U.S. electoral process.
Under the new bill (H 5461), cities and towns would be permitted to “allow all residents of the municipality to vote in municipal elections for municipal officeholders regardless of the immigration status of the residents.”
The measure also stipulates that the locality’s board of canvassers is required to coordinate with Rhode Island’s secretary of state and board of elections to “develop the forms and instructions to implement the provisions” of the new law, “as well as any rules and regulations necessary to ensure that any ballot for municipal officeholders only is kept separate and apart from ballots distributed to [citizen] voters … and counted separately for transmission to the board of elections.”
The legislation does not specify what constitutes proof of residency.
According to the Rhode Island Constitution, the only “persons entitled to vote” are U.S. citizens 18 and older who have lived in their town and the state for 30 days or more “preceding the time of voting as provided by law,” and are registered to vote at least 30 days before Election Day. Despite the specific requirements laid out in the document, Democrat Rep. Enrique Sanchez, one of the bill’s sponsors, doesn’t “think it would be necessary to amend the state’s constitution in order to allow non-citizens to vote,” as The Providence Journal reported.
He admitted there are “some neighborhoods” with such large immigrant populations that he claimed “these whole neighborhoods have less of a voice because many people can’t vote.” Under the lax policies of the Biden administration, fiscal year 2022 saw a staggering 2.4 million apprehensions of illegal aliens crossing the country’s southern border — the most in history. Even Democrat-led locales like New York that love to posture themselves as “sanctuary cities” for illegal border-crossers are begging for relief from the deluge of arriving migrants, and the corresponding drain on limited public resources.
Sanchez further confirmed to the Journal that, if the bill becomes law and a town adopts an ordinance allowing noncitizen voting, it would mean not only illegal aliens but also individuals such as international students attending a Rhode Island university within said jurisdiction would be permitted to vote in that locality’s municipal elections.
The push by Sanchez and his allies to open up the state’s local election systems to illegal immigrants is hardly exclusive to Rhode Island. In blue states across the country, Democrat-controlled localities have passed or are considering resolutions permitting noncitizen voting in certain municipal elections, with San Francisco, New York City, and Washington, D.C. among the most notable.