San Francisco will begin non-citizen voting this November for school board elections, but those who register will be warned that federal immigration officials can obtain the information, under legislation approved Tuesday.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved legislation introduced by Supervisor Norman Yee to mandate the Department of Elections warn those who register under Proposition N, which 54 percent of the voters approved in November 2016. The measure allows non-citizens with children under the age of 19 to vote in school board elections.
The warning comes amid increasing fears of deportation under President Donald Trump. The department is expected to start registering non-citizen voters July 16. When they sign an affidavit to register, the warning will be posted on the form that “any information you provide to the Department of Elections, including your name and address, may be obtained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE].” The form will also provide a list of legal resources to contact for advice.
Under state law voter registration and who voted in elections is public information that can be obtained upon request from the Department of Elections, including by government agencies, the media and political consultants, according to Deputy City Attorney Jon Givner.
“The voters who register under Prop. N … will be treated the same as other voters under state law,” Givner said Tuesday.
“I think a lot of people have heard that they have the right to vote, but they are not aware of the risk,” said former school board member and Supervisor Sandra Fewer. “To be truthful, there are certain risks involved.”