A New York City legislation allowing noncitizen residents to cast ballots in municipal elections was declared unconstitutional by the New York Supreme Court on Monday, Fox News informed.
The legislation, which was approved by the New York City Council in December 2021, established a group of voters known as “municipal voters,” who are non-citizens who register or pre-register to vote and dwell in the city for at least a month prior to an election.
Elections for the mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president, and council member were open to municipal voters under the law.
According to decision of Judge Ralph Porzio from the Richmond County Supreme Court, the New York State Constitution specifically establishes the framework for ensuring that only proper citizens maintain the right to vote privileges.
After previous Mayor Bill de Blasio and the current Mayor Eric Adams both refused to sign or veto the bill, it initially became a law automatically.
De Blasio has openly voiced his reservations about it and acknowledged that there were “huge legal difficulties” involved.
Additionally, he had expressed concern that the city’s noncitizen population, which is thought to amount between 800,000 and 1 million, would be less motivated to become citizens.
The RNC and New York Republican State Committee became part of a coalition of elected officials and ordinary citizens that sued the city over the ordinance, claiming that it violates the Municipal Home Rule Law, the New York State Constitution, and state election law.
Additionally, they argued that it would dilute their votes if the non-citizens were allowed to vote.
According to Judge Porzio, after looking at Articles II and IX of the State Constitution, it is obvious that voting is a privilege provided to residents of the United States,” and as a result, the local law extending the right to noncitizens is unconstitutional.
Porzio also highlighted a New York Election Law section 5-102(1), which specifies that a person must be a citizen of the United States in order to be eligible to register for and cast a ballot in any election.
The Municipal Home Rule Law, which provides that local governments can pass their own laws as long as they are “not conflicting with” the state’s constitution or other laws related to its property, or affairs of government was also found to be broken by the judge.