Posted on February 26, 2024

Appeals Court Rules NYC Law Allowing Noncitizens to Vote in Local Elections Violates State Constitution

Lauren Sforza, The Hill, February 21, 2024

A New York appeals court ruled Wednesday that a law allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections in New York City violates the state’s constitution.

The Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department ruled against the bill allowing noncitizens to vote in local New York City elections, including for mayor, in a 3-1 decision released Wednesday. The New York City Council approved the bill in 2021 and quickly faced a lawsuit challenging the law after Mayor Eric Adams (D) enacted it in 2022.

“This case concerns the validity of Local Law No. 11 (2022) of City of New York, which created a new class of voters eligible to vote in municipal elections consisting of individuals who are not United States citizens and who meet certain enumerated criteria,” Associate Justice Paul Wooten wrote in the appeals court decision.

“We determine that this local law was enacted in violation of the New York State Constitution and Municipal Home Rule Law, and thus, must be declared null and void,” he added.


A New York lower court also ruled in 2022 that the law violated the state’s constitution. The law would have allowed an estimated 800,000 noncitizens to vote in New York City if it was enacted, according to The Associated Press.