College Park debates allowing non-citizens to vote in city elections

College Park debates allowing non-citizens to vote in city elections (Anna-Lysa Gayle/ABC7)

Prince George’s County Police say they will provide extra security in College Park Tuesday night as the city council takes up a measure that would allow non-citizens to vote in city elections.

On Tuesday afternoon, College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn told ABC7 News the city council was likely to decide to delay voting until September 12, which they decided to do after the meeting began.

The measure was first introduced by city council member Christine Nagle.

Although police would not say which council member, they confirmed to ABC7 News one of the members has been threatened and that is why police will have extra presence at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The measure Nagle introduced would allow non-citizens - both those legally and illegally living in the U.S. - to vote in city elections. The city would keep a separate voter list for them because they still would not be allowed to vote in state and national elections.

The city says it has been receiving a large number of emails from people expressing opinions on the measure.

Dozens of the emails were posted on the city’s website, and they ran about 4 to 1 against allowing non-citizens to vote.

“Before my letter gets greeted with shouts of my being anti-immigration - let me clearly state that I am a naturalized American citizen,” wrote College Park Resident Laurel Adams. “During the period of my legal residency I understood well that I had de-enfranchised myself. It was my choice. I didn’t ask for rules to be changed because I somehow felt I was extra-special - I abided by the rules.”

“Many of the fundamental services provided by College Park - including trash pickup, snow removal, public safety, parks, youth services and more - impact residents regardless of immigration status,” College Park resident Kirstin Docken Showalter wrote in support of the the measure.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off