Maryland City: Actually, Illegal Aliens Won’t Get Voting Rights Because We Didn’t Have A Supermajority

Matt Vespa
|
Posted: Sep 19, 2017 6:30 PM
Maryland City: Actually, Illegal Aliens Won’t Get Voting Rights Because We Didn’t Have A Supermajority

In College Park, Maryland, the city has been pondering whether to allow illegal aliens to vote in local elections. It’s been debated all summer. Both sides are passionate about their positions. On one hand, you have illegals contributing to the local economy; why shouldn’t they have a say in how trash is collected? It’s only local matters in which they can cast a ballot. Yet, it’s the principle of it. It spits in the face of every legal alien who is waiting in line to become citizens, the folks who have waited in some cases, years for the right to vote in our elections. They’ve gone through the process and came here legally. They’re waiting in line. Illegal aliens get voting rights because they happen to get lucky and avoid arrest by immigration enforcement. It denigrates American citizenship. It makes a mockery of our laws. Borders matter. Last week, in a 4-3 vote, the city council passed the law that would permit illegal aliens to vote in municipal elections. It would set to go into effect by 2019, but there were some procedural matters that arose.

Yes, a simply majority passed the law, but a provision in the by-laws of the city said certain matters, like voting, require a supermajority. As a result, the motion did not pass (via WaPo):

The Washington suburb of College Park, Md., whose city leaders thought Tuesday they had approved a measure to allow noncitizens to vote in city elections, said that in fact the change did not gain the required votes for approval and was not adopted.

“It is with considerable embarrassment and regret that we acknowledge our oversight,” Mayor Patrick Wojahn and City Council members said Saturday.

The measure, it turns out, needed more “yes” votes than it got.

The initial council action came by a 4-to-3 vote after a heated and emotional debate over illegal immigration, and it appeared to make the home of about 32,000 residents and the University of Maryland’s flagship campus the largest U.S. city to allow noncitizens to cast ballots in municipal elections.

But in a three-paragraph statement late Friday, the city said that while most council actions require a simple majority of members present to pass, charter amendments such as the voting measure require a supermajority of six votes from the nine-member council.

The change requiring a supermajority of the votes that include the mayor and eight district representatives took effect in June. The noncitizen-voting charter change proposal was introduced June 13.

“Therefore, Charter Amendment 17-CR-02 was not adopted,” the city statement said.

The mayor and the city council subsequently apologized for the error.