San Francisco’s effort to get noncitizen parents to the ballot box is pretty much a bust the first time out, with only 49 signing up to vote in the Nov. 6 election. Back in July, the city began registering noncitizens — including undocumented immigrants — to vote in school board elections. The program is the first-of-its-kind in California and followed passage of a 2016 San Francisco ballot measure opening school elections to noncitizens who are over the age of 18, city residents and have children under age 19. The city spent about $310,000 setting up the new registration system and encouraging people to sign up. But Donald Trump’s election quickly put a damper on enthusiasm for the idea. This year, city officials began voicing concerns that signing up could expose people here illegally to detection by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since voter rolls — including home addresses — could be subpoenaed by the feds. Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer urged the city to spend as much as $500,000 to warn undocumented residents that registering to vote could point ICE their way — but then-Mayor Mark Farrell nixed her initial request for $125,000 to get the ball rolling. Whatever the case, the tally to register noncitizen voters comes to about $6,326 per sign up. At that price, let’s hope they vote.
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