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College Park’s measure to let noncitizens vote did not actually pass

On Tuesday, when the measure was thought to have passed, the city council voted 4-3, with one abstention. That was actually not enough to pass the charter amendment. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON — Noncitizens will still not be able to vote in local elections in College Park, Maryland, after city officials said Friday it did not have the required number of votes to adopt a much-debated measure. The announcement came several days after city council seemingly passed the measure Tuesday.

The measure, known as Charter Amendment 17-CR-02, would have allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections. But according to the statement from College Park officials released Friday night, there were not enough votes.

Most council actions require a simple majority, but changes to the charter require affirmative votes from six elected officials. That requirement came after the city charter was amended in June.

On Tuesday, when the measure was thought to have passed, the city council voted 4-3, with one abstention. That was actually not enough to pass the charter amendment.

“Therefore, Charter Amendment 17-CR-02 was not adopted,” according to Friday’s statement.

The measure would have applied to green-card holders, undocumented immigrants and those with student-visas.

City council will discuss this issue at the next work session on Tuesday, Sept. 19.

Mayor Patrick Wojahn also said Friday on Facebook that he shared the announcement “with a considerable degree of embarrassment and regret.”

Wojahn’s full statement is available below:

There are already several Maryland municipalities that allow residents who are not citizens to vote, which include Takoma Park, Hyattsville, Glen Echo and Mt. Rainier, among others.

WTOP’s Michelle Basch contributed to this report. 


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