Just received the following promotional information for Ron Hayduk’s new book on immigrant voting rights. I’ve not had a chance yet to read Hayduk’s new book, but will report on my reactions when my copy arrives.
2005: 256 pp
Hb: 0-415-95072-4: $95.00
Pb: 0-415-95073-2: $24.95
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.
About the Author
RON HAYDUK teaches political science at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. He is the author of Gatekeepers to the Franchise: Shaping Election Administration in New York. Hayduk has worked in government, consults to policy organizations and is co-founder of The Immigrant Voting Project (www.immigrantvoting.org).
“Democracy for All is the most thoroughgoing exploration we have of non-citizen voting in the United States, past and present. The issues raised by Hayduk’s book-particularly at a time of high rates of immigration-ought to inform public debate in communities across the nation.”
– Alexander Keyssar, Professor of History and Social Policy, Harvard University, and author of The Right to Vote
“This is an immensely valuable and promising book tackled in a serious and thorough way. It has a chance to speak to a broad national audience in a clear and accessible manner.”
– Jamin Raskin, author of Overruling Democracy
“This passionately argued and thoroughly documented work is the best single study of whether to grant electoral rights to immigrant non-citizens. Hayduk carefully, clearly, and compellingly dissects the past, present, and future of one of our era’s most important civil rights challenges.”
– John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, City
University Graduate Center
“Millions of long-term non-citizen residents abide in the United States without any formal representation in its democratic political system. Hayduk provides a thorough, and much-needed brief outlining the history, contemporary status, and arguments for (and against) non-citizen voting in the U.S. An excellent source for an important question in American politics today.”
– Michael Jones-Correa, Department of Government, Cornell University