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North Carolina congressional Democrats split on noncitizens voting

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(The Center Square) – Twisted with irony, North Carolinians in Congress were part of the delegation deciding legislation that could potentially prohibit individuals who are not citizens of the United States from voting in elections in the District of Columbia.

Thursday’s passage in the House of Representatives, 262-143, makes House Resolution 192’s next hurdle the Senate. If party lines are crossed, as happened in the lower chamber, the legislation would be able to overcome the split of 48 Democrats, 49 Republicans and three independents caucusing with Democrats.

The House division is 217 Republicans, 213 Democrats and five vacancies.

In addition to prohibiting noncitizens from voting in D.C. local elections for public office, inclusive of ballot initiatives or referendums, the proposal also repeals the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act. The latter, passed in 2022, allows local voting participation by noncitizen residents who have lived in the district at least 30 days – including green card holders, people who have come to or are living in the country illegally, or other noncitizens.

North Carolina Democrats in the House who supported passage included Reps. Don Davis, Kathy Manning and Wiley Nickel. Davis has a stout reelection challenger in Republican retired Army colonel Laurie Buckhout. Manning and Nickel, angry at redistricting maps, chose not to seek reelection.

Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson, another upset with maps and opting to run for state attorney general instead of congressional reelection, did not vote. Voting to OK noncitizens to vote were Democratic Reps. Alma Adams, Valerie Foushee and Deborah Ross.

Republican Reps. Dan Bishop, Chuck Edwards, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry and David Rouzer were in favor. Republican Rep. Dr. Greg Murphy, who two days earlier shared he would undergo surgery for a tumor at the base of his skull, did not vote.

Action for the legislation has not been scheduled in the Senate.

Congress has plenary legislative authority of the district, granted by Article I, Section 8, clause 17 of the Constitution. Day-to-day work is delegated, and through 200-plus years has varied at times in the context of micro or macro management. Primary jurisdiction today rests with the Committee on Oversight and Accountability in the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in the Senate.

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