UPDATES on the BILL MC 25-16 (Non-Citizens and Minors to Vote)

Bill MC 25-16 – Montgomery County Board of Education – Elections – Voting by County Residents
Here are some updates on Bill MC 25-16 – Montgomery County Board of Education – Elections – Voting by County Residents which would authorize the County to enact a law  which would amend the Maryland Constitution to allow minors and non-citizens to vote in Board of Education elections.   MC 25-16 was requested by all Democrat Delegates: Moon, Barve; Carr; Fraser-Hidalgo; Luedtke; Morales; Platt; Robinson; Smith; Sol-Gutiérrez; and Waldstreicher, as well as Senators: Madaleno; Manno; and Raskin. 
MC 25-16 was voted on last Friday by the Montgomery County Delegation’s Education Committee.  All members of the committee B. Gullison (D), Andrew Plat (D), David Fraser-Hidalgo (D), Bill Frick (D), Eric Luedtke (D), Ana Sol-Gutierrez (D) voted in FAVOR  of the Bill 25-16 ,with amendments, to give authorization to the Montgomery County Council to allow non-citizens and 16 and 17 year olds to vote during local Board Of Education elections.
Currently, the Delegation’s Education Committee is in the process of making a recommendation to the House Delegation.  The Montgomery County House Delegation meeting is scheduled for February 5, 2016.  From there, if it passes, the bill will move to the Montgomery County Senate Delegation for a hearing.  If the bill moves forward, it will then go to the Senate.
At this moment, the schedule for MDGA hearing on the Bill MC 25-16  has not yet been set. But, the entire session is 90 days, so scheduling will happen quickly.  This session began on January 13, 2016 and will end in mid April.
 
Please email all your comments (please see below comment as an example) to the ENTIRE Montgomery County Delegation and carbon copy the Montgomery County Council. 
 
Thank you
 
Emails:  
Example comments: 
Dear Montgomery County Delegation,
My name is Tanzi Strafford and I am against the Bill MC 25-16 which would amend the Maryland Constitution and give Montgomery County Council and the Montgomery County Board of Education the authority to allow non-citizens and 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the Board of Education elections.
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 and Maryland Constitution.
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  of which we are citizens.

Despite the claims of one member of the Montgomery County Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly, 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.”  The proposed bill would abridge the rights of voting citizens by diluting their influence in favor of non-citizens. Moreover, Board of Education elections don’t apply exclusively to local residents but it directly impacts the entire state because of school budget financing.

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 vote to elect officials, we expect them to make a mature decision in electing officials.  This legislature also opens up a door for a change of criminal law.  The 16 and 17 year old would no longer be a “child” in the eyes of criminal law.  It also creates a possibility that a candidate would seek election by pandering to issues relating to teenagers such as lowering drinking age, smoking age, legalizing pot and making it available to a 16 year old, etc. For example, under this legislature, a candidate can promise to lower the drinking age to a 16 years old.  Or, maybe children will also choose to vote to exercise their 2nd amendment right to protect themselves in our vulnerable schools.
Thank you.
Tanzi Strafford
Gaithersburg, MD

Amendment to the bill MC 25-16  http://montgomerycountydelegation.com/documents/MC25-16Ed.pdf

Voting List http://montgomerycountydelegation.com/documents/MC25-16MoonAmend-Ed.pdf