Professor Hayduk Discusses Efforts to Allow Non-U.S. Citizens to Vote

Thursday, January 19, 2017
CENTRALMAINE.COM -- Nationally, only nine U.S. communities allow nonresidents – both documented and undocumented – to vote in local elections, including seven jurisdictions in Maryland, said Ronald Hayduk, an associate professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University and author of “Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting in the U.S.” While allowing noncitizens to vote may seem like a radical idea, Hayduk said that’s not the case. He said immigrants were allowed to vote in local, state and, in some cases, federal elections in 40 states until the 1920s, when waves of immigrants prompted those states to tighten voting rules. Noncitizen voting initiatives typically generate vigorous debates in communities, he said. “It’s a really rich, robust and, yes, contentious discussion,” Hayduk said. “It goes to the heart of what is America who is an American.”