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SF’s Non-Citizen Voting for School Board Can Go Forward for November Election, Appeals Court Rules

The California Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a lower-court decision that overturned San Francisco’s non-citizen voting program, which since 2016 has allowed parents and guardians who are not U.S. citizens to vote in Board of Education elections. The decision will allow non-citizen voting to go forward this November.

The SF law, passed by voters, was challenged in March 2022 by an Orange County lawyer, James V. Lacy. SF Superior Court Judge Richard B. Ulmer ruled in July that the ordinance was unconstitutional and issued an injunction prohibiting the non-citizen voting program from moving forward. The ordinance had been operational for four elections before it was challenged. 

We have said time and time again that noncitizen voting is not only legal but beneficial to all of our communities,” said City Attorney David Chiu in a statement. 

The appeals court will decide on the ultimate legality of the non-citizen voting program at a later time after the Nov. 8 election.

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