Politics

UPDATE: Court Strikes Down NYC Plan To Allow 800,000 Non-Citizens To Vote

Editor’s note: This article and headline have been updated to reflect relevant legal action on this matter.

New mayor of New York City Eric Adams started his term to the left of even former mayor Bill DeBlasio.

On Saturday, Adams issued a statement saying that he supports non-citizens who reside in the Big Apple the right to vote in local elections.

Today, Adams allowed the “Our City Our Vote” measure to become law, giving roughly 800,000 non-citizens the right to vote in municipal elections.

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Mayor Says He Had ‘Some Concerns’

Adams issued a statement on the bill on Saturday saying, “I believe that New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation.”

Adams continued saying,

“While I initially had some concerns about one aspect of the bill, I had a productive dialogue with my colleagues in government that put those concerns at ease. I believe allowing the legislation to be enacted is by far the best choice, and look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process.”

The bill was passed by the City Council back in December. At the time, several New York lawmakers, constitutional experts, and even uber-liberal DeBlasio had also voiced apprehension over the bill’s legalities.

Adams did not elaborate on what is concerns were.

**UPDATE**

In late June, the Richmond County Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the city’s plan for non-citizens to vote after Republicans challenged the law. 

The Judge, Ralph Porzio, said of his ruling, “Though voting is a right that so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the Constitution.”

The City Council’s minority leader, Joe Borelli, said, “Every administration, including the de Blasio administration and the Bloomberg administration, has been clear, saying this law would be unconstitutional and against the current statute. And now a judge has affirmed that decision.”

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Non-Citizens Voting, COVID Passports

While Eric Adams feels like letting those who are not American citizens vote is “the best choice,” he is singing a very different tune when it comes to COVID.

During an interview with ABC News, Adams stated that he would keep many of former mayor DeBlasio’s strict COVID restrictions, some of the harshest in the nation.

The city requires proof of vaccination – called “Key to NYC” – for a whole host of normal societal activities. For example, going to a restaurant or bar, gym, pool or fitness studio, movie theaters, concerts, and the like.

Adams said, “We’re going to examine the numbers, if we feel we have to get to the place of making that mandatory, we’re going to do that but we’re encouraging them to do it now.”

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New York Not The First

While New York City will be the first major city to grant non-citizens voting rights, it is not the first overall. In Maryland, there are 11 towns where non-citizens can cast a ballot in a local election, and two in Vermont.

It is a move that brings, as the the mayor stated, many more voters to the polls, voters in a super blue city. Of the 7 million citizens of voting age in New York City, one in nine are non-citizens.

Former New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez introduced the bill prior to leaving office and being appointed transportation commissioner by Mayor Adams.

On the opposite side of the equation, several places like Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, and Florida have passed laws that would prevent non-citizens from voting in municipal elections.

Becky Noble

Becky Noble, a political blogger and writer for over 10 years, lives by the motto, “Being normal is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.” Becky holds a degree in journalism from Regent University.

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