Stacey Abrams ‘Wouldn’t Oppose’ Non-Citizens, Minors Voting in Local Elections

January 11, 2019

In a new interview on PBS, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D.) said she’s open to non-citizens and minors voting in municipal elections.

Margaret Hoover, host of PBS’s "Firing Line," asked Abrams about progressive cities such as San Francisco where non-citizens can vote in local elections. Abrams said "there’s a big difference between municipal and state and federal" elections, and the larger democratic norms in the U.S. aren’t damaged by non-citizens voting on local matters.

"I’m not arguing for it or against it, but I will say having been deputy city attorney, the granularity of what cities decide is so specific as to, I think, allow people to be participants in the process without it somehow undermining our larger democratic ethic that says that you should be a citizen to be a part of the conversation," Abrams said.

Hoover pressed Abrams on whether she supports the idea, and she said she "wouldn’t oppose it."

During her 2018 campaign for governor of Georgia, Abrams told supporters there would be a "blue wave" of Democratic victories fueled by many people, including "those who are documented and undocumented." At the time, the Washington Free Beacon contacted her campaign for comment and did not hear back.

On "Firing Line," Abrams went on to say 16-year-olds should be able to vote in some cases, a prospect about which she seemed more excited.

"I actually think there are some cases where 16-year-olds should be allowed cast their vote," she said. "I think school board elections where kids actually got to speak to...the decisions made by the school board members, the effect it has on their education. I think there’s a legitimate argument for having that conversation. I haven't decided where I stand on it, but I think that’s a conversation we need to have."

Abrams has been in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with Democratic leaders, reportedly to discuss a potential run for Senate in the Peach State.

The interview airs in full on PBS stations Sunday.