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NY Supreme Court strikes down New York City’s law allowing noncitizens to vote 

New York Supreme Court repeals New York City law allowing 800,000 non-citizens to vote

  • New York City Council passed a law last December allowing legal residents who have been in the city for at least 30 days to vote
  • The law would have added approximately 800,000 non-citizens to the city’s electoral rolls, including green card holders and DACA recipients
  • Staten Island Judge Ralph Porzio ruled Monday that the law violates the state constitution that requires voters to be citizens
  • He said that in order to give non-citizens the right to vote, there must be a referendum

The New York State Supreme Court has struck down a law in New York City that allows non-citizens to vote Monday.

The New York City Council passed a law last December that would allow legal residents who have been in the city for at least 30 days, including those with green cards and DACA recipients, to vote in city elections beginning in 2023. The law would add about 800,000. put non-citizens on the city’s electoral rolls, but would not have allowed them to vote in state or federal elections.

In January, the Republican National Committee (RNC), the New York Republican Party and several other city council members who voted against the legislation filed a lawsuit.

Judge Ralph Porzio, of Staten Island, ruled Monday that the law violates the state constitution that requires voters to be citizens of the state, but the case could continue in the Court of Appeals.

New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez speaks at a rally on the steps of City Hall on Dec. 9 ahead of a city council vote to allow lawful permanent residents to vote in elections to elect the mayor, city councilors and other municipal office holders

New York City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez speaks at a rally on December 9 on the steps of City Hall ahead of a city council vote to allow lawful permanent residents to cast votes in elections to elect the mayor, city councilors and other municipal office holders

Non-citizens must legally reside in NYC for at least 30 days or be authorized to work through programs such as DACA or TPS

Non-citizens must legally reside in NYC for at least 30 days or be authorized to work through programs such as DACA or TPS

The judge ruled that the law also violated New York state electoral law and the municipal house rule. He said there should be a referendum to give non-citizens the right to vote.

More than a dozen communities in the US already allow non-citizens to vote in local elections, including 11 cities in Maryland and two in Vermont, but New York would have been the first major city to do so.

Some states, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado and Florida, have passed rules that would prevent any attempt to pass laws like those in New York City.

Today’s decision validates those of us who can read the plain English words of our state constitution and statutes: voting by noncitizens in New York is illegal, and shame on those who thought they could circumvent the law for political gain. Opposition to this measure has been twofold and cut across numerous neighborhood and ethnic lines, but progressives chose to ignore both our constitution and public sentiment to achieve their goals. I commend the court for recognizing the reality and reminding the professional protester class in New York that the rule of law matters,” Joseph Borelli, GOP City Council minority leader, said in a statement.

After the city council passed the bill, it was sent to former mayor Bill de Blasio, who did not sign it or veto it before leaving office. When Mayor Eric Adams walked in, he also had no signature or veto on the legislation. The bill was deemed passed because it has not been signed or vetoed and will become law within 30 days.

“Today’s ruling is a huge victory for electoral integrity and the rule of law: American elections should be decided by American citizens,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.

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