Right of Non-Citizens to Vote in San Francisco School Board elections, Proposition D (November 2010)

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A Right of Non-Citizens to Vote in San Francisco School Board elections, Proposition D ballot proposition is on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in San Francisco.[1]

If approved, the measure will allow parents and legal guardians of students in the San Francisco Unified School District to cast ballots in school board elections, regardless of their immigration status.

Specifically, Proposition D would allow any non-citizen resident of San Francisco to vote for members of the Board of Education if the resident:

  • Is the parent, legal guardian or legally-recognized caregiver for a child living in the School District, and
  • Is 18 years of age or older and not in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.

The provisions of Proposition D would last for 3 voting years: the November 2012, 2014, and 2016 elections for members of the San Francisco Board of Education. After the 2016 election, Proposition D would expire unless the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance allowing it to continue.

It is estimated that the cost of administering an election involving non-citizens would be about $150,000. John Arntz, the director of the city's election department, had originally estimated that the cost would be $800,000. However, the $800,000 estimate was the estimate for holding the school board election on a day separate from the city's general election. The $150,000 estimate is how much it would cost to administer non-resident voting, if the non-resident voting takes place on a regular election day.[1]


Arguments in the San Francisco Voter Pamphlet in favor of Proposition D were signed by:

  • David Chiu
  • Michela Alioto-Pier
  • David Campos
  • Chris Daly
  • Bevan Dufty
  • Eric Mar
  • Sophie Maxwell
  • Ross Mirkarimi

As reasons for voting in favor of Proposition D, they say:

  • "It is estimated that at least 1 of out 3 children in San Francisco public schools has an immigrant parent."
  • "All parents, regardless of citizenship, will have the opportunity to become an integral part of their child’s education and future through the electoral process."
  • "It is essential that we expand parental involvement in our schools since greater parental participation is a key element in improving schools, particularly low-performing schools."

They also say:

  • "For the first 150 years of our nation’s history - from 1776 until 1926 - 22 states and territories allowed immigrants to vote and even hold office."
  • "Over the last three decades, cities and towns in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York have passed laws allowing immigrants to vote."


Proposition F in 2004

A similar measure, Proposition F, was on the November 2, 2004 ballot in San Francisco, where it was narrowly (51-49%) defeated.

The ballot question in 2004 was, "May San Francisco residents who are 18 or older vote in School Board elections, whether or not the resident is a United States citizen, if the resident is a parent, guardian or care-giver of a child in the School District?"

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Proposition D: Shall the City allow non-citizen residents of San Francisco who are 18 years of age or older and have children living in the San Francisco Unified School District to vote for members of the Board of Education?[2]

Path to the ballot

On July 20, 2010, the Board of Supervisors voted 9-2 on July 20, 2010 to place Proposition D on the ballot.

  • Voting in favor of putting Proposition D on the ballot: Supervisors Alioto-Pier, Avalos, Campos, Chiu, Daly, Dufty, Mar, Maxwell and Mirkarimi.
  • Voting against: Supervisors Chu and Elsbernd.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 San Francisco Chronicle, "One more try to let non-citizens vote in school elections", July 20, 2010
  2. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.