College Park allowing non-citizens to vote in city elections

A city council in Maryland has voted in favor of allowing resident non-citizens such as illegal immigrants to participate in local elections.

A city in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., has chose to allow non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. That proposal split the council 4-4, before the mayor cast the deciding vote against the proposal. It was a very contentious debate inside College Park City Hall as nearly two dozen people signed up to speak on the matter during Tuesday night's meeting. Mayor Patrick Wojahn made the tie-breaking vote against having the referendum. The room was packed with people on both sides of the issue. Residents who supported the change said it was about civil rights. About 20 percent of College Park's 32,000 residents are foreign-born. "Voting is a right of the citizens".

Todd Larson, who campaigned for the proposal and is co-director of the Green America group, said the change will make the city more inclusive.

The vote occurred during a tense meeting.

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