A bill introduced by D.C. lawmakers would grant some immigrants lacking U.S. citizenship the ability to vote in municipal elections.
The Local Resident Voting Rights Act of 2015 would allow D.C. residents who are not U.S. citizens but meet the federal definition of having permanent residency status to cast ballots in local elections, including races for mayor and the D.C. Council as well as initiatives and charter referendums. D.C. Council member David Grosso, at-large independent, introduced the legislation Tuesday.
In a statement announcing the introduction of the bill, Mr. Grosso cited statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau that indicate the District is home to nearly 54,000 foreign-born residents who are not naturalized U.S. citizens.
“These are taxpayers who should have the opportunity to have their voices heard in local elections,” he said.
Similar bills were unsuccessfully introduced in 2013 by Mr. Grosso, and in 2004 by then-D.C. Council member Jim Graham.
Neighboring Takoma Park also allows non-U.S. citizens to vote in local elections.