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Watershed moment in NYC: New law allows non-citizens to vote

More than 800,000 non-citizens and so-called “Dreamers” in New York City will have access to the ballot box as soon as Mayor Eric Adams allows the law to be passed by the City Council in September. before automatically becomes a law.

NEW YORK – More than 800,000 non-citizens and so-called “Dreamers” in New York City will have access to the ballot box – and be able to vote in municipal elections as early as possible. next year – after Mayor Eric Adams allowed legislation passed by the City Council a month ago to automatically become law on Sunday.

Opponents have vowed to challenge the new law. Unless a judge halts the implementation, New York City is currently the most populous city in the United States granting voting rights to non-citizens.

More than a dozen communities across the United States have allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections, including 11 towns in Maryland and two in Vermont.

The board of elections must now begin drawing up an implementation plan by July, including voter registration rules and provisions that would create separate ballots for city races to prevent noncitizens vote in federal and state elections.

It’s a pivotal moment for a city where legally registered non-voting-age citizens comprise nearly one-ninth of the city’s 7 million voting-age residents. The movement for the right to vote for non-citizens has prevailed after many failed attempts.

The measure would allow non-citizens to legally reside in the city for at least 30 days, as well as those authorized to work in the US, including so-called “Dreamers”, to help choose mayor, city council members, regional president, controller and public advocate.

“Dreamers” are young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children who benefited from the DREAM Act or DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – allow them to stay in the country if they meet certain criteria.

The first elections in which non-citizens are allowed to vote will last until 2023.

“We build a stronger democracy when we include the voices of immigrants,” said former City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who led the charge to win approval for the legislation.

Rodriguez, who was appointed by Adams as his transportation commissioner, thanks the mayor for support and looks forward to a strong defense against any legal challenge.

Non-citizens will still not be able to vote for the president or members of Congress in federal races or in state elections for governors, judges, and legislators.

Adams recently caused uncertainty over the legislation when he raised concerns about the month-long residency standard, but later said those concerns did not mean he would veto the bill.

While there is some question of whether Adams can prevent the bill from becoming law, the 30-day window for the mayor to take action expired at midnight.

Adams said he wants the bill to involve millions of people in the democratic process.

“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 released Thursday night. Seven. He added that his previous worries were allayed after what he called productive dialogue with colleagues.

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio had similar concerns but did not move to veto the measure before leaving City Hall later this year.

A legal challenge is possible. Opponents say the council lacks its own authority to give voting rights to non-citizens and should first seek action from state lawmakers.

Several states including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado and Florida have adopted rules that could block any attempt to pass legislation like in New York City.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/watershed-moment-nyc-law-noncitizens-vote-82160057 Watershed moment in NYC: New law allows non-citizens to vote

Emma Bowman

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