Maine city asks: Should noncitizens vote?

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Associated Press

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 9:01 AM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Residents in Portland, Maine, are voting on Election Day on a proposal to give legal residents who aren't U.S. citizens the right to vote in local elections.

Supporters say noncitizens pay taxes, hold down jobs, volunteer in the community and serve in the military — so it's only fair they should be allowed to vote.

But critics say immigrants already have an avenue to cast their ballots — by becoming citizens. They say allowing noncitizens to vote dilutes the meaning of citizenship.

Chicago and half a dozen places in Maryland allow noncitizens to vote in local school board or municipal elections.

San Francisco residents will vote Nov. 2 whether to allow noncitizens to vote in school board elections if they are the parents, legal guardians or caregivers of children in the school system.

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