Radical Proposal for Non-Citizens and Children to Vote
The Montgomery County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly is once again pushing a radical proposal, Bill MC 25-16, which would amend the Maryland Constitution and give the Montgomery County Council and the Montgomery County Board of Education election the authority to allow non-citizens and 16 and 17 year olds to vote. The bill was crafted per request of Delegates: Moon, Barve, Carr, Fraser-Hidalgo, Luedtke, Morales, Platt, Robinson, Smith, Sol-Gutiérrez and Waldstreicher and Senators: Madaleno, Manno and Raskin.
I have been closely following this issue for the last two years. I testified before the Montgomery County Council against non-citizens voting because this contradicts the U.S. Constitution. I previously wrote:
I am a first generation immigrant. I immigrated to the U.S.A. in 2000. In 2006, I became a U.S. Citizen. To me and many of my fellow first generation immigrants, it’s important to take the steps necessary to share in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. To became a U.S. citizen means first and foremost to have a right to vote and decide the fate of the county, state and country that we are citizens of.
This bill is against the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution, Amendment 14, Section 1 clearly states “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”. Unless, Montgomery County plans on becoming a Sovereign Democratic People’s Republic of Montgomery County with its own currency, constitution, and passports, this recommendation should not be adopted.
16 and 17 year-old children should not be allowed to vote because they are still children. Under Maryland law, a “child” is any person under the age of 18. Read the Law: MD Cts. and Jud. Proc. §3–8A–01 So, if we let our children to vote to elect officials and aspect them to make a mature decision in electing officials. Then this legislature also opens up a door for a change of criminal law. The 16 and 17 year old would not be a “children” in the eyes of criminal law. It also creates a possibility of a candidate would seek election by pandering to issues relating to teenagers such as lowering drinking age, smoking age, legalizing pot and making available to a 16 year old etc. For example, under this legislature, a candidate can promise to lower the drinking age to a 16 year old. Or maybe children will also choose to vote to exercise their 2nd amendment right to protect themselves in our vulnerable schools.
Interestingly, Senator Raskin is among the group requesting this radical, unconstitutional bill MC 25-16. Senator Raskin is a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law for the last 25 years and is also running for the 8th Congressional District seat. As a constitutional lawyer he should know that this bill is against the U.S. Constitution. Imagine what laws he would try to implement if he is elected to the U.S. Congress.
The hearing on the Bill MC 25-16 is scheduled for January 29, 2016 in Annapolis. If you will not be able to attend the hearing please email your testimonies to the Montgomery County Delegation by 28th of January.