Voting is considered a privilege that comes with American citizenship but there is a movement to give that privilege to non-citizens.
New York City and San Francisco have given non-citizens the franchise – at least in some local elections. Six local governments in Maryland also allow resident aliens to vote, and College Park wants to be the seventh - with one additional twist, according to Bob Popper of Judicial Watch.
"What they propose to do is particularly problematic," Popper says of College Park, "because they would not make any distinction between legal and not-legally present non-citizens."
College Park, a city of 32,000 in Prince George's County, would allow citizens 28 days before the election to register to vote, and non-citizens can register to vote within 14 days of the election.
It is illegal for non-citizens to vote in federal elections, and states can say they can't vote in statewide contests either, but it's actually not illegal for cities or counties to allow the practice.
The argument is that residents who have kids in local schools and pay local taxes should be allowed to vote on the government bodies that affect their lives.
But that's not how it's supposed to work, Popper insists, because there is the "fundamental question of equity," he says.
"People who are the citizens of this country," he says, "people who will have to pay any income taxes to support what happens, people who don't have another country where they can leave to as citizens, those people have a different relationship to the country than non-citizens."
He also stresses the additional security and organization to keep separate ballots for citizens and non-citizens, increasing the odds that the latter can vote by accident – or by design – in national elections.