New York City this week became the largest municipality in the country to allow people who are not U.S. citizens to vote in local elections.
The city council approved a measure by a wide margin to allow 800,000 adult noncitizens to vote for mayor, city council, comptroller, public advocate and borough leaders. The measure requires noncitizens to have lived in New York City for at least 30 days and have a work permit. They will not be able to vote in state and federal elections.
Nationwide, 14 municipalities allow noncitizens to vote, including two Vermont cities that approved similar measures earlier this year. San Francisco allows noncitizens to vote in school board elections, while nine Maryland towns permit noncitizen voting in local elections.
“At a time when some states are restricting voting rights and when the nation grapples with questions about the nature of its identity and purpose, New York City sends a powerful message by expanding voting rights to immigrants as full members of the community,” said Ron Hayduk, a professor of political science at San Francisco State University, who has studied this issue.
Republicans vowed to sue New York City.
“This is perhaps the worst idea out of New York City Democrats ever, and that’s really saying something,” New York Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy said in a Dec. 3 statement. “This radical legislation is unconstitutional, un-American and downright dangerous.”
In 1968, New York City was the first place in the United States to allow noncitizens to vote in school board elections. Those rights lasted until 2003, when the city abolished school boards, transferring power to the mayor.
Proponents of these measures argue that since noncitizens are taxpayers whose children attend local schools, they should have a say on local decisions. In communities like New York City, immigrants account for more than a third of the population. But these proposals have ignited the fierce debates that often come with immigration and voting rights measures.
Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., and Illinois are currently debating measures that would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections, as well.
Meanwhile, some states have moved to explicitly ban noncitizens from voting in any elections, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and North Dakota.
The Republican National Committee has filed a lawsuit in Vermont to contest amended city charters in Montpelier and Winooski that allow noncitizens to vote locally.
–Matt Vasilogambros, Stateline
Mikey Eyes says
As a non citizen of New York City, but a business owner of 44 years in NYC. I say that I should also have the right to vote. I employ 60 people, pay the their healthcare, contribute to their 401k and have paid millions in taxes over the 44 years of business.
What say you?
Why haven’t you become a citizen? If this country has supported, you and your family for 44 years I think by now you would have wanted to become a citizen of this wonderful nation. Then you would have earned the right to vote.
Mikey Eyes says
Judy, I am an American citizen! I an not a citizen of NYC!! I own a business in NYC and live in Connecticut!
The article makes it sound as though they are allowing “non-US citizens” to vote. I am glad to hear you are a US citizen. I still think that if you live in Connecticut, you should not be allowed to vote on school board or tax issues etc. in NY just because you work and own a business in NYC. It’s probably a lot “safer” and the schools are better in Connecticut and that’s why you live there.
Judy, do you read and understand English?
Perhaps it is you that doesn’t understand English. I questioned why a person (US Citizen or not) who lives in Connecticut, should be allowed to vote in NYC. You already probably vote in Connecticut. This would be double dipping to vote in two places.
FCOL, why don’t they just let the Chinese, North Korea, Iran & Russia vote in our elections too.
The dude says
Nah… that’s the GQP’s job.
Become a citizen like these. Around 808,000 people were naturalized during the fiscal year (2021) according to a Nov 10, 2021 report which ended September 30, compared with 625,400 people in fiscal year 2020, according to data provided by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
30 day residency requirement is all that is needed to vcote?
That is the average vacation time given people in Europe and South America! How expensive is it to keep illegals in your home for 30 days and then register them to vote for you or your best buddy ? Insanity, stupidity, corruption, madness all rolled up together is pretty hard to digest for me as a ‘native’…
I can accept a permanent legal resident for a least 5 years, who pays state and local taxes at a minimum – being allowed to vote in local elections for offices they support with their tax dollars. Mexico requires 5 year residency to be allowed to work and not be compelled to go to the US border every 6 months to renew a mandatory Tourist Visa.
I am New York City born and raised but sure glad I got the hell out of there 46 years ago. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life…..
Stop the insanity says
The Dems will stop at nothing until it’s all free and destroyed. Come to America! You don’t have to come here legally, those laws are just for show! In fact, we will give you cash to support you and your fam, and even let you vote! All you need to do is keep voting Democrat and we will promise you the world…..