San Francisco has begun registering undocumented immigrants and other non-citizens to vote in the city’s school board elections.
The move has also been approved in Chicago and several cities in Maryland and Massachusetts, according to the New York Post.
“We want to give immigrants the right to vote,” said San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee told KGO.
November’s election will be the first election in which non-citizens can register to vote.
“As a parent myself and a former member of the SF Board of Education it is critical that the voices of all parents are at the table particularly those that have historically been denied a voice in the process,” said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer of District 1.
School Board member Matt Haney, who co-authored the resolution, says the school board was in full support of it.
“I think it’s critical that all of our families have a voice in the governance of our schools,” said Haney.
Harmeet Dhillon, the Republican National Committeewoman from California, said, “The reason I voted against it is that I think the right to vote is something that goes along with citizenship and should be. I don’t think that people who have otherwise tenuous ties to San Francisco given their lack of legal residence should be making long term decisions about that structure and process.”
To be able to register to vote in the Board of Education election, non-citizens must be residents of San Francisco, at least 18 years old on election day and parents, legal guardians or caregivers of children under the age of 19 who also reside in San Francisco.
Non-citizen voting will be available at every Board of Education election until November 2022. It will expire then unless the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance allowing it to continue.