A New York state judge on Monday struck down a new law that would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections in New York.
Under legislation passed by the New York City Council in December, noncitizens who have lived in the city for at least 30 days and are lawful permanent residents of the United States — including green card holders, work permit holders and DACA holders – would be allowed to vote in municipal elections, including mayor, public advocate, borough president and city council.
State Supreme Court Justice Ralph Porzio, based in Staten Island, said in a written ruling that the legislation is illegal and violates the state constitution, which provides only for citizens to vote.
“New York City has no statutory ability to enact inconsistent laws permitting noncitizens to vote and override the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution. Although voting is a right that so many citizens take for granted, New York City cannot “avoid” the restrictions imposed by the constitution,” Porzio wrote.
A referendum would be needed to give non-citizens the right to vote provided for in the legislation, Porzio said in his ruling.
The law was to come into force in January 2023.
A Republican National Committee group filed a lawsuit earlier this year challenging the legislation.
“By dramatically increasing the number of eligible voters, the Noncitizen Voting Act will dilute the votes of American citizens, including the plaintiffs in this action,” the first plaintiff said.
The law would add about 800,000 newly eligible non-citizen voters, according to the lawsuit.
“Today, the State Supreme Court is once again seeking to revoke that right and deprive hundreds of thousands of New York City permanent residents of their right to have a say in the decisions that shape our city – and to choose the leaders who make these decisions,” New York City public attorney Jumaane Williams said on Twitter.
“This is a disappointing court decision for people who value bringing thousands more New Yorkers into the democratic process. We are evaluating next steps,” the NYC Legal Department spokesperson said. , Nicholas Paolucci.
The decision comes a day before the first day of the New York primaries this year. State offices, including governor, attorney general and lieutenant governor, will be among those on the ballot. A second primary day will be held later this summer for the New York congressional seats.