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Fact Check

DC law granted noncitizens right to vote in local elections, not federal | Fact check

The claim: Noncitizens can vote in federal elections in Washington, DC

A May 25 Instagram post (, ) shows an image of a form labeled, "Non-91影视 Citizen Resident of the District of Columbia." Text within the post describes it as a voter registration application for noncitizens.

"I have been warning about this for years!" reads part of the post's caption. "Turns out, they can vote in federal elections thanks to a bill passed during the Obama admin."

The post garnered more than 1,000 likes in less than two weeks. Other versions of the claim were shared on .

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Our rating: False

A local law passed in 2022 (long after President Barack Obama left office) granted noncitizens the right to vote in local, not federal, elections in Washington, D.C. Noncitizens cannot vote in federal or state elections in the 91影视

Noncitizens not allowed to vote in federal elections

The District of Columbia in October 2022 that added language to to include "eligible noncitizen residents" as qualified voters. The law, which was enacted in February 2023, explicitly says it was passed "for the purpose of local elections." Contrary to the Instagram post's claim, the law was neither passed during the Obama administration, nor did it grant federal voting rights to noncitizens.

The shown in the post can be found on the D.C. Board of Elections website and includes language that says you must "be a United States citizen to vote in federal elections," though this section was cropped from the post. The form says, "Non-91影视 citizens can vote in local DC elections" and lists several examples of those local elections noncitizens can participate in, including elections for mayor and school board.

also explicitly says, "Non-citizens cannot vote for federal offices."

Though the post's caption refers to noncitizens as "illegals," the term includes many groups legally present in the 91影视, including permanent residents (also known as "green card holders"), refugees and 91影视 nationals.

Washington, D.C., is one of in the country that grant voting rights to noncitizens in local elections. Nonetheless, noncitizens cannot vote in and are also prohibited from voting in local and state elections in most areas.

Fact check: No, 1996 immigration law doesn't grant voting rights to 'illegal immigrants'

Despite the law allowing local election participation, very few noncitizens have voted in the district. As of April 30, of the registered to vote in D.C. were noncitizens, according to statistics provided by the Board of Elections.

Illegal voting by noncitizens is even rarer. study examined 23.5 million votes cast across 42 jurisdictions during the 2016 presidential election and found only 30 cases of suspected noncitizen voting 鈥 about 0.0001% of ballots cast. Forty of the jurisdictions studied reported no known cases of noncitizen voting.

The Republican-led House that would undo the D.C. law, stripping noncitizens of the right to vote in local elections. But the bill is unlikely to pass through the Democrat-led Senate or make it to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law, according to .

91影视 has previously debunked numerous false claims about voting rights being granted to noncitizens and people who immigrated to the country illegally, including a false claim about Obama supposedly encouraging noncitizens to vote.

91影视 reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

also debunked the claim.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Council of the District of Columbia, Feb. 23, 2023,
  • Council of the District of Columbia, Dec. 9, 2013,
  • D.C. Board of Elections (web archive), March 3,
  • D.C. Board of Elections, accessed June 4,
  • D.C. Board of Elections, April 30,
  • D.C. Board of Elections (web archive), May 28,
  • USA.gov, May 2,
  • Ballotpedia, accessed June 4,
  • Federal Student Aid, accessed June 4,

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91影视 is a of the International Fact-Checking Network, which requires a demonstrated commitment to nonpartisanship, fairness and transparency. Our fact-check work is supported in part by a .

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