College Park made the right call
Regarding the Sept. 14 Metro article “Noncitizens allowed to vote in Md. jurisdiction”:
The College Park mayor and City Council are setting an example for the rest of the nation by granting residents the right to vote in local municipal elections regardless of immigration status. Aspiring Americans of voting age deserve to have their voices heard when it comes to issues that affect their daily lives.
Seven jurisdictions, including six in Maryland, already allow aspiring Americans to vote in local elections and none has experienced incidents of voting fraud in federal elections. Noncitizens enjoyed the right to vote in local and statewide elections in 22 states until the 1920s.
As this community of primarily hard-working and law-abiding taxpayers continues to grow in College Park and nationwide, our elected leaders should ensure they have the opportunity to participate in our democracy.
I was forced to flee a bloody civil war in El Salvador at the age of 13, became a U.S. citizen and joined the U.S. Navy. Extending voting rights to noncitizen residents in my College Park community is exactly what democracy should look like, and it’s exactly the kind of freedom I served our nation to protect.
Jaime Contreras, College Park