Bay Area City Proposes Expanding Voting Rights to Undocumented Residents; Professor Hayduk Discusses National Trend

Thursday, July 08, 2021
Richmond, California, on a sunny day. Photo by Federico Pizano.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- To date, 12 cities outside of California have allowed noncitizen residents, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, to vote in local elections, according to Ron Hayduk, professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University and author of “Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting in the U.S.”

Chicago has allowed it in school council elections since 1989, 11 towns in Maryland have allowed it in local elections since the 1990s, and New York City allowed noncitizen immigrants to vote in 32 community school board elections from 1969 to 2002, according to Hayduk.

“If voters and legislators in Richmond are similar to those in SF, NYC and several towns in Vermont, Maryland and Massachusetts, then Richmond may well follow suit in affirming and including the voices of all its residents,” Hayduk said in an email.