You are reading

Legal Noncitizens Can Now Vote in City Elections, Mayor Adams Decides Not to Block Council Bill

Noncitizens now have the right to vote in local elections. Pictured are voters casting their ballots in South Ozone Park in 2020. (Photo by Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

Jan. 10, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

Green card holders and residents who are authorized to work now have the right to vote in local elections.

Mayor Eric Adams, who had expressed concerns about a bill passed by the council last month permitting certain noncitizens the right to vote, decided not to challenge the legislation. The bill has now become law.

The new law gives approximately 800,000 non-citizen New Yorkers the ability to partake in municipal elections.

Under the legislation, legal residents now have the right to vote in city elections, such as for mayor, public advocate, comptroller and their local council member. They are unable to vote in state and federal elections.

The new law makes New York City the largest municipality in the country permitting noncitizens the right to vote in local elections.

Adams had the right to veto the bill until Sunday, which would have kicked it back to the new city council. The previous council passed the bill by 33 votes to 14 last month, one vote short of overriding the mayor’s power to veto the bill.

The mayor gave the bill, titled “Our City, Our Vote”, his backing on Saturday—saying it would bring more people into the democratic process.

“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 said.

Adams said that he initially had misgivings about a stipulation in the bill that only requires noncitizens to live in the city for 30 days prior to a local election. He indicated that the 30-day requirement was too short.

However, in his statement Saturday, he said that he had conversations with other government officials that put these concerns “at ease.”

He did not specify the nature of those discussions.

Noncitizens now have the right to vote in local elections. Mayor Eric Adams, pictured, let a recently passed city council bill become law Sunday (Photo by Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

The first citywide election that qualifying noncitizens will be permitted to vote is likely to be in 2023. The law, however, is expected to face legal challenges.

For instance, Albany Law School Professor Vincent Bonventre told the New York Post last month that the bill may violate Article 2, Section 1, of the state constitution, which grants the right to vote in all elections to “every citizen” 18 years of age or older.

“The implications seems pretty clear that the right to vote is exclusive to citizens,” Bonventre said. “They are the only ones mentioned and nothing else suggests the right to vote may be extended to others.”

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

South Ozone Park gunman faces 25 years to life in prison for murder at Richmond Hill auto repair shop: DA

A South Ozone Park man was indicted by a Queens grand jury in the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old celebrating his 24th birthday in 2022.

Curtis Benjamin, 27, of 113th Street, was arraigned Thursday in Queens Supreme Court on a 14-count indictment charging him with murder, attempted murder and other related crimes for gunning down Justin Baerga and wounding three other partygoers during the attack.

Man sought for allegedly committing act of public lewdness in front of 16-year-old girl on Q43 bus: NYPD

Police from the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica are looking for a creep who subjected a 16-year-old girl to public lewdness in broad daylight while they rode a Q43 bus in Jamaica Estates late last month.

The incident occurred just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 25 as the teen was aboard the Q43 as it rolled down Hillside Boulevard near the intersection of Francis Lewis Boulevard, when she saw a stranger perform a lewd act and stroking her leg before she exited the bus, police said. The suspect remained on the Q43 and the girl was not injured during the disturbing episode.

Queens Village man indicted for stabbing stranger to death in Jamaica deli: DA

A Queens grand jury indicted a Southeast Queens man for fatally stabbing a stranger to death in a Jamaica deli last month.

Jahshua Kelley, 40, of 107th Avenue in Queens Village, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court Wednesday on a four-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, Kelley faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

AG James announces dismantling of Queens-based ghost gun trafficking operation

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday the takedown of a prolific Queens-based gun trafficking crew accused of selling firearms and ammo at an East Elmhurst playground, the Queens Center Mall and other locations around the borough.

James secured a 625-count indictment charging five men for participating in the gun smuggling ring, which involved selling dozens of ghost guns, assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.