Quantcast

New York City Poised to Let 800K Noncitizens Vote in Local Elections

'It devalues citizenship, and citizenship is the standard by which the state constitution issues or allows for suffrage in New York state elections at all levels...'

(Headline USA) New York City is on the cusp of becoming the largest place in the country to give noncitizens the right to vote in local elections.

Legally documented, voting-age noncitizens comprise nearly one in nine of the city’s 7 million voting-age inhabitants.

Under a bill nearing approval, some 800,000 noncitizens would be allowed to cast ballots in elections to pick the mayor, City Council members and other municipal officeholders.

Noncitizens still wouldn’t be able to vote for president or members of Congress in federal races, or in the state elections that pick the governor, judges and legislators.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Little stands in the way of the effort becoming law.

The measure has broad support within the City Council, which is expected to ratify the proposal Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio has raised concerns about the wisdom and legality of the legislation, but said he won’t veto it.

More than a dozen municipalities across the United States currently allow noncitizens to vote, including 11 towns in Maryland and two in Vermont.

San Francisco, through a ballot initiative ratified by voters in 2016, began allowing noncitizens to vote in school board elections — which was also true in New York City until it abolished its boards in 2002 and gave control of schools to the mayor.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Last year, voters in Alabama, Colorado and Florida ratified measures specifying that only U.S. citizens can vote, joining Arizona and North Dakota in adopting rules that would preempt any attempts to pass laws like the one being considered in New York City.

“I think that there’s people in our society that go to sleep with so much fear of immigrants that they try to make an argument to disqualify their right to elect their local leaders,” said New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who is originally from the Dominican Republic.

“This is about whether we are living in New York City, we are contributing to New York City and paying taxes in New York City,” said Rodriguez, a Democrat.

De Blasio, though, has questioned whether the measure would survive a legal challenge.

Federal law allows states and local governments to decide who can vote in their elections, but some, including the mayor, have raised concerns about whether state lawmakers must first act to grant the city the authority to extend voting rights to noncitizens.

“Look, there’s obviously an argument: We want people involved, we want to hear people’s voices,” de Blasio recently said on the television news program “Inside City Hall.”

“I still have a concern about it. Citizenship has an extraordinary value. People work so hard for it,” he said. “We need people in every good way to want to be citizens.”

The minority leader of the City Council, Joseph Borelli, a Republican from Staten Island, said the measure will undoubtedly end up in court.

“It devalues citizenship, and citizenship is the standard by which the state constitution issues or allows for suffrage in New York state elections at all levels,” Borelli said.

The proposal would allow noncitizens who have been lawful permanent residents of the city for at least 30 days, as well as those authorized to work in the U.S., including so-called “Dreamers,” to vote for the city’s mayor, city council members, borough presidents, comptroller and public advocate.

The law would direct the Board of Elections to draw up an implementation plan by July, including voter registration rules and provisions that would create separate ballots for municipal races to prevent noncitizens from casting ballots in federal and state contests.

Noncitizens wouldn’t be allowed to vote until elections in 2023.

Giving nonresidents the right to vote could empower them to become a political force that can’t be easily ignored, said Anu Joshi, the vice president of policy of the New York Immigration Coalition.

New York City, with more than 3 million foreign-born residents, would be a fitting place to anchor a national movement to expand immigrant voting rights, said Ron Hayduk, now a professor of political science at San Francisco State University but who spent years in New York steeped in the movement for noncitizen voting rights.

“New York, the home of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, prides itself on being the place of immigration,” he noted. “So there’s this question of what’s the place of immigrants in our city — are they really New Yorkers, are they full New Yorkers in the sense of qualifying and deserving the power of the vote and to shape its political future?”
The answer should be a “resounding yes,” he said.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.

Copyright 2022. No part of this site may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the copyright owner. To inquire about licensing content, use the contact form at https://headlineusa.com/advertising.
- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Republicans Push For Greater Access to COVID Therapeutics

(Brett Rowland, The Center Square) Republicans are pushing for greater access to monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 after the federal government took over the...

New Hampshire Lawmakers Weigh Ban on Native-American Mascots

(Christian Wade, The Center Square) New Hampshire lawmakers are weighing a proposal to outlaw the use of Native American mascots in public schools, including...

Dunleavy Pledges to Work For Alaskans Despite Leftist Media’s Murkowski Distractions

(Headline USA) Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he doesn't see his acceptance of former President Donald Trump's endorsement as hurting his relationship with...

UPDATE: Manchin Reveals Nick Saban Opposed Ending Filibuster After All

UPDATE (1/21/22, 10:30 am): Sen. Joe Manchin tweeted the full text of the letter from West Virginia graduates including Nick Saban. He revealed...

Following Filibuster Failure, Race-Hustling Leftists Pounce on McConnell ‘Gaffe’

(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) Race-hustling leftists seized on the intentional misinterpretation of a remark by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to wage a petty and...

Tenn. Republican Introduces Self-Defense Bill In Honor of Kyle Rittenhouse

(Headline USA)  A Tennessee Republican introduced a self-defense bill this week in honor of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 18-year-old who was found not guilty last...

M&M Characters to Become More ‘Inclusive’

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Mars Inc. has announced that their M&M's characters are being redesigned to be more "inclusive" and have more "nuanced personalities," proving...

Family of Marine Killed in Afghanistan Sues Alec Baldwin For Defamation

(Headline USA) The sister of a Marine killed during the military withdrawal from Afghanistan filed a defamation lawsuit against Alec Baldwin this week, alleging...

UPenn Teammate Says Transgender Lia Thomas Intentionally Lost Race to Avoid Criticism

(Headline USA) A teammate of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas suggested Thomas intentionally lost a recent race to avoid critcism and make it seem like...
- Advertisement -