A California judge strikes down a San Fransico city ordinance allowing non-citizens to vote in school board elections.
Previously, non-citizens of school-aged children were allowed to vote in school board elections.
The voting of non-citizen parents of school-aged children was approved in 2016 and 2018.
In 2021, the court extended the law indefinitely.
The California Public Policy Foundation and the United States Justice Foundation challenged these rulings.
“The State of California has a long-standing requirement that voters must be United States citizens,” the plaintiffs argued.
“This requirement applies to every election in the state, even those conducted by charter cities.”
“Determining voter qualifications is a matter of statewide concern.”
“This is especially important when state law supersedes conflicting charter city ordinances.”
The court agreed.
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“Transcendent law of California, the Constitution … reserves the right to vote to a United States citizen, contrary to (the) San Francisco ordinance,” San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer said in a ruling that will prohibit the city from counting non-citizen votes.
The lawsuit also argued that because the San Francisco Unified School District receives money from state taxpayers, the entire state has an interest in the qualifications of its voters, and the city does not have unlimited autonomy to redefine who is eligible to vote.
A similar law in New York City, which would have allowed up to 800,000 non-citizens to vote in city elections, was struck down in June.
San Francisco has not indicated whether or not it plans to appeal the case.