I am writing in response to Vincent Arcuri’s letter in the Dec. 7th issue. Vincent asked Council Member Dromm, “What country allows non-citizens to vote?”
The answer is that in forty-five different countries around the world non-citizens are allowed to vote in local elections, and right here in the United States of America, legal residents in several towns enjoy their right to participate in decision making at the local level as well.
Legal residents from Ecuador can vote in Madrid; Mexicans can vote in Amsterdam, Bolivians can vote in Brussels, Nigerians can vote in Dublin, and Argentineans can vote in Barnesville, Maryland. Brookline, MA just last month voted to allow their legal immigrants to vote, and towns and cities across the country are in the process of joining this movement for the expansion of democracy.
Regarding Mr. Acuri’s claim that Dromm is disregarding the laws of our nation by supporting Intro. 410, which nine of his fellow Council members introduced along with him, there is absolutely nothing in the state or federal constitution to preclude non-citizens from voting.
In fact, non-citizens voted for the first 150 years of our history.
Professor of Political Science, Queens College, CUNY