State Watch

Judge rules noncitizens cannot vote in local NYC elections

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A New York Supreme Court justice ruled on Monday that noncitizens cannot vote in local elections in New York City, striking down a law that would have allowed for such votes.

The law allowing noncitizens to vote went into effect in January after being passed by the New York City Council in December.

But on Monday, Justice Ralph Porzio ruled that the law violated the New York Constitution, which he claims gives the right to vote to eligible citizens, according to The New York Times.

“There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting noncitizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution,” wrote Porzio in his decision, saying that the only way noncitizens could be given the right to vote is through a referendum.

The law, which was set to go into effect in January 2023, would have expanded the right to vote in municipal elections to 800,000 more people.

If implemented, the law would have made New York City the largest city in the U.S. to allow noncitizens to vote, joining 11 towns in Maryland and two in Vermont that already grant voting rights to noncitizens.

The New York City law would have applied noncitizen voting rights only to municipal elections, continuing to limit voters in state and federal elections only to U.S. citizens.


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