College Park postpones plan to allow voting for people in US illegally

WASHINGTON — A plan to allow people living the United States illegally in College Park city elections has been postponed.

College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn said a city council vote will likely be pushed back to early September.

The city council was supposed to vote on the proposal Tuesday but the bill’s sponsor, Councilwoman Christine Nagle, said that city leaders will first consider the possibility of placing the issue in the ballot in November.

Nearly a dozen cities in Maryland already allow all of its residents, including citizens living in the country illegally, the right to vote. College Park could become the biggest city in the state to grant that right if the bill passes.

It would apply only to city elections and would make all adult residents eligible to vote. Those who are not U.S. citizens would be put on a supplemental voter list that would prohibit them from voting in state and federal elections.

Nagle said it gives everyone who lives in College Park a say in how the city would be run, since municipal elections tend to have an impact on all city residents — but an impact that doesn’t extend beyond the city’s borders.

The idea is being met with at least some opposition from people who say the right to vote should only be granted to an American citizen. Maryland law gives local governments wide discretion in making that decision.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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