In the latest spasm of immigration insanity to seize the United States, the College Park, Maryland, City Council has voted to allow non-citizens to vote in its local elections. The measure would allow any non-citizen residing in College Park – regardless of immigration status – to cast votes in elections for the mayor, city council, school board, etc. In so doing, College Park has effectively erased any meaningful distinctions between U.S. citizens and those who have no legal right to be in the United States.

Maryland state election laws require U.S. citizenship in order to register to vote in any statewide general, primary, or special election. However, municipal elections, other than those conducted in Baltimore City, are specifically exempted from the statewide rules. With very limited exceptions, noncitizen voting is illegal under the relevant statutes of most other states.

College Park’s decision is part of a disturbing trend that has emerged over the last two decades. Several municipalities in Maryland have already authorized noncitizens to vote in town elections; and the city of Chicago now allows noncitizen voting in school advisory council elections. To date, no state has extended noncitizen voting beyond municipal elections. Typically, American states, counties, and cities have been concerned that wanton expansion of the right to vote would render U.S. elections susceptible to both fraud and foreign influence. Those concerns appear to have been abandoned in the age of “sanctuary” jurisdictions.

While Maryland municipalities have been busy extending the franchise to illegal aliens, voter security laws aimed at protecting the integrity of the “one citizen/one vote” principle have been repeatedly challenged in recent years. The most frequent objections to these reasonable measures are that voter fraud is a “myth” and that voter ID requirements will unreasonably interfere with minority voting rights. However, these claims seem patently unreasonable given that there have been virtually no substantiated reports of voters being disenfranchised.

On the other hand, at any given time, there are 10-20 million noncitizens lawfully present in the United States, and up to 12.5 million illegal aliens, with very few safeguards in place to prevent them from voting. And there is ample evidence that foreigners are indeed voting in American elections: aliens were recently discovered on voter rolls in both Virginia and Pennsylvania. And in close races around the country, even a small number of fraudulently cast votes can swing an election.

Municipalities that grant foreigners the right to vote undermine the integrity of the American electoral system. Noncitizens are not allowed to vote in the U.S. for exactly the same reason that people younger than 18 are not allowed to vote – because they do not fall within the class of people permitted to vote. The prohibition is based on the requirements for membership in the American electorate. The distinction is purely legal. It is not a result of invidious discrimination. By extending the franchise to those with no legal attachments to the U.S., College Park has sent a clear message that it values some nebulous concept of “inclusivity” more than the long-established rules surrounding American citizenship.