New York City Poised To Allow Noncitizens To Vote In Local Elections
Lawmakers on the New York City Council are expected to vote on a piece of legislation next month that would grant noncitizens the right to vote in local elections.
First introduced two years ago, the “Our City, Our Vote” bill along with its corresponding social justice movement “expands democracy in New York City so green card holders and those authorized to work in the United States can vote in elections for city-level offices as long as they have been a resident of New York City for at least 30 days and are otherwise qualified to register and vote under New York State election law.”
This means that “lawfully present residents and those with work authorizations” – which includes Dreamers – would be allowed to “vote in municipal elections such as races for mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president, and city council, as well as ballot referendum.”
With an estimated 808,000 green card holders living within its five boroughs, New York City would become the largest municipality in the United States to grant suffrage to noncitizens in local elections. should “Our City, Our Vote” prevail.
New York City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez (D-District 10), the proposal’s sponsor, said that “it’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation.”
New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-District 3) said that granting immigrants a “voice in our local elections” will “add New York City to a resounding national movement.”
Mayor-Elect Eric Adams (D) has also confirmed his support for the bill.
Republicans in nearly every state have proposed or signed into law draconian voting restrictions that have limited access to the polls and usurped control of elections from independent commissions to partisan committees.