Saturday, June 22, 2024

Can Russian and Chinese Agents Legally Vote in Washington, DC: The law that allows them to; Laws Permitting Noncitizens to Vote in the United States

Can Russian and Chinese Agents Legally Vote in Washington, DC?
The law that allows them to.
Suppose Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping made an agreement: All their personnel stationed in Washington, D.C., would vote for the same candidates running in Washington’s local elections.
How many votes would this hypothetical alliance deliver? Perhaps not many — but more than a few.
The New York Times reported last July that the number of Russians working at their D.C. embassy had dropped significantly.
“In recent years, as many as 1,200 Russian personnel worked in the embassy compound,” said the Times. “The State Department will not say how many remain — staffing levels here and at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow are now a sensitive topic — but in January 2022, Mr. [Anatoly] Antonov [the Russian ambassador] put the number at 184 diplomats and support staff members.”
The website of the Chinese Embassy in Washington does not appear to mention how many Chinese nationals are deployed there. But it does talk about the massive size of the embassy building. “It covers an area of 10,796 square meters with a floor area of 39,900 square meters,” it says.
So, how can the Chinese nationals who work there — for a communist government — get away with voting in an American election?
How can Russians, working at the direction of Putin, do the same?
The D.C. government enacted a law that allows it.
On Oct. 18, 2022, the D.C. Council voted 12 to 0 — with one member absent and not voting — to approve the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act. Despite this one-sided vote, Mayor Muriel Bowser did not support it.
“Mayor Bowser expressed opposition by withholding her signature on the Act — something she has done only a handful of times over the course of her tenure,” said a report on the act published by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee.
The Washington Post also opposed it — in an editorial published a day before the Council vote.
“Voting is a foundational right of citizenship,” said the Post. “That’s why we oppose a bill, poised to pass the D.C. Council this week, that would allow an estimated 50,000 noncitizen residents to cast ballots in local elections.”
The Post also pointed out that this bill would allow both illegal aliens and foreign nationals working at foreign embassies to vote in D.C. elections.
“The proposal has been expanded to give voting rights in local elections to all noncitizen adults, regardless of whether they are in the country legally, so long as they’ve resided in the District for 30 days,” said the Post.
“There’s nothing in the measure,” the Post said, “to prevent employees at embassies of governments that are openly hostile to the United States from casting ballots.”
The House committee report repeated these points. --->READ MORE HERE
Laws permitting noncitizens to vote in the United States:
This article covers noncitizen voting in the United States. It includes background information about the issue, language from federal law and state constitutions, details about the municipalities that allow noncitizen voting, and a list of states where it is prohibited.
According to the Pew Research Center, there were over 25 million people living in the U.S. in 2020 who were not U.S. citizens. This included approximately 12 million permanent residents living in the U.S. with legal permission, as well as 2 million temporary residents visiting the U.S. for a period of time as students, tourists, foreign workers, foreign officials, etc. Pew's figure also includes approximately 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.[1][2]
In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed a law prohibiting noncitizens from voting in federal elections, including elections for the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and presidential elections. This law does not apply to elections for state and local offices. Click here to learn more about recent legal challenges involving noncitizen voting[3]
  • As of June 2024, no state constitutions explicitly allowed noncitizens to vote in state or local elections. 
  • Six states approved ballot measures related to citizenship requirements for voting. Five states will have similar ballot measures in the 2024 elections.
According to political scientist Ron Hayduk of San Francisco State University, certain noncitizens were permitted to vote in federal, state, and local elections in 33 states between 1776 and 1924. He argued that granting the right to vote to noncitizens was a common incentive among U.S. territories and new states to attract workers and families to work and populate the lands.[4][5]
Hayduk also argued that immigration can lead to anti-immigrant sentiment and restricted voting rights: --->READ MORE HERE
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