Yes — Non-citizens Can Legally Vote in the United States.
A quick and dirty primer in American civics.
Can non-citizens vote in FEDERAL elections? No.
A federal election deals with national issues (think voting for the President). Federal law bars non-citizens from helping to decide those issues. Source: Illegal Immigration Reform Act, II(B)216(a)(1).
- Are non-citizens participating in federal election anyway? Also no. Non-citizen voting is extremely rare, and state investigations have uncovered almost no incidents of non-citizen voting. Source: The Brennan Center for Justice, Non-citizen Voting Vanishingly Rare.
Can non-citizens vote in STATE elections? No.
A state election deals with issues that impact the entire state (think: legalizing marijuana). Non-citizens have been barred from voting in state elections since 1926. Source: Wikipedia Survey, Non-citizen Suffrage in the United States.
- Are non-citizens participating in state election anyway? Still no. Source: The Brennan Center, Noncitizen Voting: The Missing Millions.
Can non-citizens vote in LOCAL elections? Yes; but, it’s state-dependent.
A local election deals w/small-region issues (think: local school board). 14 states have no laws barring non-citizen voting. In the rest, non-citizen voting in any election is a no-go. Source: Ballotpedia, Laws Permitting Noncitizens to Vote in the United States.
- Are non-citizens voting in local elections? Yes, but it’s exceedingly uncommon. As of December 2022, only 4 states (NY, MD, VT, CA) saw non-citizen voting in 16 of their municipal elections. Source: Ballotpedia, Non-citizen Suffrage in Local Elections.
It goes against everything you think you know about the Constitution and voting.
I understand; I do. And yet, here we are.
I support non-citizen participation in local elections, but as recent news has reminded us, many don’t. No matter your position though, it helps to understanding how non-citizen voting works. Hope this helps!