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Mount Pleasant’s considerable non-U.S.-citizen population regularly finds itself at the center of contentious neighborhood debates but has no vote in the local advisory neighborhood commission (ANC). Now, however, Mount Pleasant noncitizens have a voice—albeit a silent one. On Nov. 5, the ANC is allowing noncitizens to cast ballots in a special election to fill a vacant seat, even though those votes won’t count. The symbolic vote—the second of its kind—is designed as a step toward legal noncitizen voting in special elections, says Gregg Edwards, the group’s vice chair. Edwards has already sent a resolution to the D.C. Council to legalize such voting, to no avail. “We really want to tug at their conscience,” Edwards says. “What are they afraid of?” Potential voters need only bring a picture ID and proof of residence in order to cast a ballot in a separate, nonbinding ballot box. The first election, in April, attracted about a dozen noncitizens out of 45 total voters. “People came with their entire family, dressed in their Sunday best,” Edwards says. “They deeply respect democracy, and they want to be a part of this country.” —Rachel Beckman