The DC Council passed a bill on October 18, permitting residents without citizenship to cast their votes in local elections.
The bill titled the “Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022,” aims at amending the city’s election code of 1955, to include “otherwise eligible non-citizen residents” in the definition of “qualified elector” for local elections.
Under the bill, District residents, whether they are green-card holders or living in the country without legally obtaining a residence permit, will be able to vote in local elections, beginning in 2024.
But they are required to meet other criteria to be a voter, including the age requirement (being at least 18 years old) and having lived in DC for a minimum of 30 days.
The Local Residents Voting Rights Amendment Act passes! For nearly a decade, I've championed expanding voting rights so that those who have made the District their home have the right for their voices to be heard in our local issues, no matter their immigration status.
— Brianne K. Nadeau (@BrianneKNadeau) October 18, 2022
As for federal elections, non-citizen residents will still not have the right to cast their ballots.
The new regulation was co-sponsored by DC Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau, Janeese Lewis George, Elissa Silverman, Christina Henderson, Brooke Pinto, Robert C. White, Jr., and Charles Allen.
It will take effect after it is signed into law by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and a 30-day period of congressional review.
In the wake of the development, Sen. Tom Cotton reportedly started working on a resolution to introduce in Congress to block the District’s attempt to allow illegal immigrants to vote.