By Joe Mathews, Zócalo Public Square
President Donald Trump claims California allowed millions of non-citizens to vote in the 2016 elections. This allegation, while totally bogus, has put California on the defensive as Trump uses the lie to justify a new federal commission devoted to making it harder for all Americans to vote.
Californians should go on offense – by embracing Trump’s ugly lie and transforming it into a beautiful civic truth. Let’s make our state more democratic – by guaranteeing California’s non-citizens the right to vote in local and state elections.
Sounds radical, right? It’s not. In this country, there is no constitutional prohibition against non-citizens voting; states decide who gets to vote. For most of American history, voting by non-citizens was commonplace. Given Trump’s threats both to immigrants and democracy, this is the moment to give the franchise back to non-citizens.