Sam Raskin, New York Post, January 10, 2022
A group of New York Republicans filed a lawsuit Thursday to block a new law that will soon allow about 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections.
The suit, filed in Staten Island Supreme Court, asks a judge to issue an injunction that prevents the city Board of Elections and the mayor from “implementing the law in any respect” due to its unconstitutionality.
“The law is clear and the ethics are even clearer: we shouldn’t be allowing citizens of other nations to vote in our elections, full stop. We are only two weeks into the Adams Administration and he is already kowtowing to the radical City Council,” New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy, a plaintiff in the suit, said in a statement.
Along with local GOP members, constitutional experts have raised legal concerns about the law ahead of its passage. The state constitution, Article 2, Section 1, grants the right to vote in all elections to “every citizen” 18 years of age or older.
The new law, passed in December by the City Council despite objections from several members, was given the thumbs up by Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday, when he announced he was allowing the measure to pass.
The decision came after he on Jan. 1 expressed reservations about the aspect of the law that requires that non-citizens live in the five boroughs for just 30 days to be able to cast ballots in municipal contests.
The bill — sponsored by ex-Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, now Adams’ transportation commissioner — allows non-citizens to participate in local elections by expanding voting eligibility to green card holders, which is about 10 percent of the city’s population, and recipients of deferred action. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has said that nearly 800,000 New Yorkers would be covered under the legislation, including 622,000 green card holders.