Non-citizens can now vote in SF Board of Education Elections

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On Monday San Francisco began allowing immigrant parents of school children to register to vote even if they are not U.S. citizens. 

Those who join the rolls would only be allowed to vote in the election of school board members. 

But the question remains — how many people will take this step, since it could put them on the radar of federal immigration officials?

The Non-Citizen Voter Registration Drive kicked off on the steps of San Francisco City Hall with a warning. 

In 2016, San Francisco voters passed a charter amendment that allows non-citizens to have a say when it comes to their children’s education by allowing them to vote in the election of school board members. 

Those behind the move say it’s the Democratic thing to do, citing a stat that a third of SFUSD students have immigrant parents. 

“For so long as people have been marginalized and other people who are citizens have a legal right to vote have dominated the conversation quite frankly I think it’s time as a former school board member I welcome those voices. I think those are the voices it need to be hurt quite frankly those of the children in our system that actually need more help.”

But this new kicks in just as the crackdown on the undocumented heats up under the Trump administration. 

Those interested in exercising this new right are being told to get legal advice before filling out this form since the city can’t block this information from ending up in the hands of federal immigration officials. 

“What is very risky is that we don’t know where this president will go.”

On the back of the information pamphlet explaining the new city law, is a list of immigrant rights groups who can help give advice. 

There are three open seats on the SF school board in this November’s election. 

Those non-citizens who’ve weighed the risks and want to cast their ballot have up until Election Day to register. 

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