SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Monday the Department of Elections Issued Voter Registration Forms for non-citizens who are eligible to vote for members of the San Francisco Board of Education in the November 6th 2018 election. The measure passed in 2016 with a close vote of 54 percent to 46 percent following two failed previous attempts.
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San Francisco is the first city in the state to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections.
"As a parent myself and a former member of the SF Board of Education it is critical that the voices of all parents are at the table particularly those that have historically been denied a voice in the process," said Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer who represents District 1.
"We want to give immigrants the right to vote," said Supervisor Norman Yee who represents District 7.
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This November will be the first election in which non-citizens can register to vote.
"Third time was a charm," said San Francisco School Board member Matt Haney.
School Board member Matt Haney was the co-author of the resolution endorsing the measure. He says the school board was in full support of it.
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"I think it's critical that all of our families have a voice in the governance of our schools," said Haney.
Not everyone agrees. Harmeet Dhillon is the Republican National Committeewoman from California. She says she voted against the measure in 2016.
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"The reason I voted against it is that I think the right to vote is something that goes along with citizenship and should be," said Dhillon.
Dhillon says the school board is already obligated to look out for the interests of all children in the system.
"I don't think that people who have otherwise tenuous ties to San Francisco given their lack of legal residence should be making long term decisions about that structure and process," said Dhillon.
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Prospective voters can request a non-citizen voter registration form in-person at the Department of Elections, online or by phone. The deadline to register is October 22nd. Those who miss the deadline can visit the City Hall Voting Center to register and vote under conditional voter registration.
To be able to register to vote in the Board of Education election, non-citizens must be residents of San Francisco, at least 18 years old on election day and parents, legal guardians or caregivers of children under the age of 19 who also reside in San Francisco.
Non-citizen voting will be available at every Board of Education election until November 2022. It will expire then unless the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance allowing it to continue.
SF Dept. of Elections issues board of education voter registration forms for some non-citizens