Non-citizens granted vote in local elections in College Park

The city council in College Park, home to the University of Maryland campus, has joined six other towns that allow green-card holders, illegal immigrants and other non-citizens to vote in local elections. Under the new policy, green-card holders, undocumented immigrants and student-visa holders are all allowed to vote in local elections. That proposal split the council 4-4, before the mayor cast the deciding vote against the proposal.

In a heated session that went on for hours, the city council of College Park, Maryland, approved a bill Tuesday that allows non-citizens to vote. "I'm hoping that we won't have the circus around it that we had last time".

The majority of residents who submitted comments supported the expansion, Mayor Patrick Wojahn said. The room was packed with people on both sides of the issue.

Beth Debrovsky, a resident who voted against the change, argued that only citizens should be allowed to vote as it is "constitutional". About 20 percent of College Park's 32,000 residents are foreign-born. "It's constitutional. It's also written at the state level and it also belongs at the local level".