The Debate Over Voting Rights for Non-Citizen Residents in Herndon, VA

Learn about the debate surrounding voting rights for non-citizen residents in Herndon, VA and the current laws in place.

The Debate Over Voting Rights for Non-Citizen Residents in Herndon, VA

As the 2020 US presidential election approaches, the issue of voting rights has become a highly contested topic. While most people are aware that US citizens have the right to vote, there is often confusion surrounding the voting rights of non-citizens, especially those who reside in Herndon, VA.

The Basics of Voting Rights in Herndon, VA

Herndon, VA is a diverse community with a significant immigrant population. According to the US Census Bureau, over 30% of the town's population is made up of foreign-born individuals. This raises the question - can non-citizens who are residents of Herndon, VA vote in local elections?The short answer is no.

In order to vote in any election in the United States, an individual must be a US citizen. This includes both federal and state elections. However, there are some exceptions to this rule when it comes to local elections.

Local Elections and Non-Citizen Residents

While non-citizens cannot vote in federal or state elections, some cities and towns have passed laws allowing non-citizen residents to vote in local elections. These laws are known as "municipal voting rights" or "local voting rights" and they vary from place to place. In Herndon, VA, non-citizen residents are not eligible to vote in any local elections.

This includes town council elections, school board elections, and any other local ballot measures. Only US citizens who are registered voters can participate in these elections.

Why Can't Non-Citizens Vote in Local Elections?

The decision to allow non-citizen residents to vote in local elections is ultimately up to each individual city or town. In the case of Herndon, VA, the town has not passed any laws granting non-citizens the right to vote in local elections. One of the main reasons for this is that local elections often involve issues that have a direct impact on the entire community, including taxes, school funding, and public services. These decisions should be made by those who are directly affected by them - in this case, US citizens who are residents of Herndon, VA. Additionally, allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections could potentially create confusion and complications in the voting process.

It would require separate voter registration systems and ballots, which could lead to errors and delays on election day.

What About Non-Citizen Residents Who Own Property in Herndon, VA?

Some non-citizen residents of Herndon, VA may own property in the town and pay property taxes. However, this does not give them the right to vote in local elections. Property ownership does not equate to citizenship and therefore does not grant voting rights. It's important to note that non-citizen residents still have a voice in their community. They can attend town council meetings, participate in public forums, and engage with local officials to express their opinions and concerns.

The Path to Voting Rights for Non-Citizens

While non-citizen residents of Herndon, VA cannot currently vote in any elections, there have been efforts to change this.

In 2019, a bill was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly that would have allowed non-citizen residents to vote in local elections. However, the bill did not pass. There are also ongoing discussions and debates at the national level about granting voting rights to non-citizens. Some argue that non-citizen residents who pay taxes and contribute to their communities should have a say in local elections. Others believe that voting is a privilege reserved for US citizens.


As it stands, non-citizen residents of Herndon, VA do not have the right to vote in any elections.

However, this could change in the future as more cities and towns consider granting local voting rights to non-citizens. In the meantime, it's important for all residents to stay informed and engaged in their community, regardless of their citizenship status.