Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting Rights in the United States

Front Cover
Taylor & Francis, 2006 - Political Science - 250 pages
Voting is for citizens only, right? Not exactly. It is not widely known that immigrants, or noncitizens, currently vote in local elections in over a half dozen cities and towns in the U.S.; nor that campaigns to expand the franchise to noncitizens have been launched in at least a dozen other jurisdictions from coast to coast over the past decade. These practices have their roots in another little-known fact: for most of the country's history - from the founding until the 1920s - noncitizens voted in forty states and federal territories in local, state, and even federal elections, and also held public office such as alderman, coroner, and school board member. Globally, over forty countries on nearly every continent permit voting by noncitizens. Legal immigrants, or resident aliens, pay taxes, own businesses and homes, send their children to public schools, and can be drafted or serve in the military, yet proposals to grant them voting rights are often met with great resistance. But, in a country where "no taxation without representation" was once a rallying cry for revolution, such a proposition may not, after all, be so outlandish. Democracy for All examines the politics and practices of noncitizen voting in the United States, chronicling the rise and fall - and re-emergence - of immigrant voting in the U.S. In addition to making the case for noncitizen voting, this book takes a close look at the politics of and actors in recent campaigns that successfully reestablished noncitizen voting, others that failed, and ones that are currently underway. Democracy for All explores the prospects for a truly universal suffrage in America.


Chapter 1 Introduction
1776 to 1926
Demographic Change and Political Mobilization
Chapter 4 The Case for Immigrant Voting Rights
Maryland New York and Chicago
California New York Washington DC and Massachusetts
Chapter 7 The Future of Immigrant Voting
Works Cited
Back cover

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Ron Hayduk teaches political science at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. He has written about political participation, elections, social movements, immigration, and race. Hayduk has worked in government, consulted to several policy organizations and is co-founder of The Immigrant Voting Project (

Bibliographic information