American citizenship is no longer required to vote in New York City’s local elections.
Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday he supports a plan to allow non-citizens to vote in Big Apple municipal contests, saying it was the “best choice,” according to the New York Post.
The bill was passed by the City Council last month and took effect Sunday because neither Adams nor former Mayor Bill DeBlasio vetoed it, according to The New York Times.
About 800,000 people who are not U.S. citizens can now vote for New York City mayor, council races, and local ballot propositions. Although the law is aimed at legal citizens, it also allows gives the vote to participants in the Deferred Action for Childhoods Arrivals program — who were brought to the U.S. illegally as young children.
Non-citizens voting in NYC is just the start. It’s the pilot program for what the Dems will roll out across the nation by 2024. Why do you think they are opening our border…they are importing their voters. They MUST be STOPPED! #defundDemocrats
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) January 9, 2022
The law does not apply to state or federal elections.
“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 in a statement Saturday.
“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,” Adams, a Democrat, said.
Adams had said he had questions about the length of residency allowed to vote before accepting the measure, which caused a stir on social media.
“That is a slap in the face to every citizen, natural or otherwise,” as one Twitter user wrote.
That is a slap in the face to every citizen, natural or otherwise… way to diminish the beautiful city NY was….
— Cristina Hopkins (@Cristin24337555) January 9, 2022
“Hopefully what goes on in New York will stay in New York,” wrote another.
Hopefully what goes on in New York will stay in New York.
— B Rhodes (@mdmbaphd) January 9, 2022
“In New York City, 47 percent of Brooklyn speak a language other than English at home. And so I think it’s imperative that people who are in a local municipality have the right to decide who’s going to govern them, and I support the overall concept of that bill,” Adams said, according to the U.K. Guardian.
New York City’s board of elections must develop rules to implement the plan by July, with it taking effect in the 2023 round of local elections, the Guardian reported.
But first, there will be a lawsuit.
Why don’t you tell people what the bill actually does: allows 800,000+ non citizens to vote in NYC after 30 days residency, a right reserved for citizens by the New York State Constitution…
We’ll see you in court. https://t.co/HDiHHm6SSJ
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) January 9, 2022
“We build a stronger democracy when we include the voices of immigrants,” said former council member Ydanis Rodriguez, according to the Guardian.
Adams has appointed Rodriguez the city’s transportation commissioner, the Guardian noted.
During last month’s council debate, some council members opposed the law.
Councilmember Mark Gjonaj wanted those allowed to vote to have been in the city for one year.
Those in town for 30 days are “transient,” not a “permanent resident” and not a “contributor,” he said, according to the Times.
Councilmember Laurie Cumbo feared the black New Yorkers were losing clout.
“This particular legislation is going to shift the power dynamics in New York City in a major way,” she said, according to the Times.