Rep. Jamie Raskin’s Historical Support For ‘Alien Suffrage’ Sparks Controversy Amid Noncitizen Voting Debate

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a prominent House Democrat and ranking member of the Oversight Committee, has come under scrutiny for his past advocacy of “Alien Suffrage,” the concept of allowing noncitizens to vote. In a 1993 paper titled “Legal Aliens, Local Citizens: The Historical Constitutional and Theoretical Meanings of Alien Suffrage,” Raskin argued against the exclusion of noncitizens from voting, claiming it lacks constitutional and historical justification.

The revelation of Raskin’s past views comes as the House passed a bill to bar foreign nationals from voting in Washington, D.C. elections. Raskin was among the 143 Democrats who opposed the measure while 52 Democrats joined Republicans in supporting it.

Raskin’s home state of Maryland has several municipalities, such as Takoma Park, that have allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections for decades. Advocates argue that resident aliens should have a voice in local governance due to their contributions to the community.

However, a national poll conducted by RMG Research, Inc. for Americans for Citizen Voting found that 75 of respondents oppose allowing foreign nationals to vote in local elections.

This sentiment aligns with the motivations behind the recently passed House bill and the broader Safeguard American Voter Eligibility Act (SAVE Act) introduced by House Speaker Mike Johnson, which aims to tighten voter registration requirements.

Republicans cite the influx of illegal immigrants and recent criminal cases in North Carolina, which revealed that noncitizens are voting and are in fact voting as reasons for strengthening election integrity measures. Raskin’s past advocacy for “Alien Suffrage” has raised questions about his current stance on the issue, but his office did not respond to requests for comment.