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Largely Symbolic: San Francisco Spends $300K To Register Non-citizen Voters

by Jeff Powers, published

San Diego, CALIF.- 49 signups.

That's the result of the City of San Francisco's effort to register non-citizen voters for local board of education races.

The 49 signups come to about $6,326 per sign up.

The program is the first-of-its-kind in California and followed the passage of a 2016 San Francisco ballot measure opening school elections to non-citizens who are over the age of 18, city residents and have children under age 19.

Back in July, the city began registering non-citizens — including undocumented immigrants.

The tab has so far totaled about $310,000 setting up the new registration system and encouraging people to sign up. At the time it was placed on the ballot, the City Controller Ben Rosenfield noted Proposition N would cost an estimated $160,000 per election to print and distribute voting materials, train poll workers and separately register people who would become eligible to vote in School Board elections.

Controversial Move

The effort has been a controversial one.

And one likely to rally conservative voices as the caravans continue their march to the border.

Shamann Walton is the San Francisco Unified School District commissioner who introduced the resolution to the school board in support of Measure N in 2016. She said he doesn’t buy into the "concerned" rhetoric, “At the end of the day, for me, it’s important that families who have children in our school to have a say,” he said.

Robin Hvidston, executive director of We the People Rising, a group that lobbies for stricter immigration enforcement said of the effort, “Non-citizen voting is a very contentious issue,” Hvidston said. “The move to extend voting rights to those illegally residing in San Francisco has the potential to backfire among citizens with a moderate stance on illegal immigration.”

Travis Allen, the gubernatorial candidate who did not make the top two in June, tweeted the following:

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