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Further Study for Non-Citizen Voting Proposal

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Further Study for Non-Citizen Voting Proposal
Posted on 08/14/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Further Study for Non-Citizen Voting Proposal On Aug. 7, the Portland Board of Public Education voted to approve a resolution to support a City Council proposal to send to Portland voters a City Charter amendment allowing non-citizen legal residents of the city to vote in municipal elections. After a City Council public hearing on Aug. 13, however, the council voted to send the proposal to its Legislative Committee for further study.

Before its Aug. 7 vote, the school board held a workshop and public hearing on the proposed Non-Citizen Voting Resolution. After hearing passionate public testimony, much of it from the immigrant community in support of the proposal, and after a thoughtful discussion, the board voted to approve the resolution.

At the council’s Aug. 13 public hearing on the issue, board Chair Anna Trevorrow presented the board’s resolution. She said she supported it because 20 percent to 30 percent of Portland Public Schools students come from immigrant families, yet many of their parents can’t vote. “Enfranchising non-citizens is one categorical demonstration of Portland Public Schools’ value proposition of equity and inclusion,” Trevorrow said. “Our School Board governance is best served when all residents are able to fully participate in the democratic process.”

However, the council ended up voting to send the proposal to committee for further study. Issues to be explored include whether letting non-citizens vote could lead to unintended consequences and privacy concerns. Also underscored at the council’s meeting was the need for more public education, so that non-citizens don’t accidentally vote illegally.

Learn more in this Portland Press Herald story at: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/08/13/portland-council-considers-allowing-non-citizens-to-vote-in-municipal-elections/