New York to allow 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections

“Someone who has lived here for 30 days will have a say in how we increase our taxes, our debt and our long-term pension liabilities,” he said. “These are things that temporary residents shouldn’t have a say in. “

The push to allow non-citizens to vote in New York comes as an increasingly polarized country faces a slew of new laws aimed at restricting voting, as well as economic problems caused by the decline of the ‘immigration.

Voters in Alabama, Colorado and Florida adopted voting measures last year stating that only U.S. citizens could vote, joining Arizona and North Dakota in specifying that non-citizens could not vote in state and local elections.

On the other side of the issue, several cities in Maryland and Vermont already grant non-citizens municipal voting rights, and non-citizens can vote in school board elections in San Francisco. Other municipalities in California, Maine, Illinois and Massachusetts are considering similar legislation.

“In the so-called blue states, we are heading for expansion and that includes expanding non-citizen voting,” said Joshua A. Douglas, professor at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law who studies voting rights and electoral law. . “In the so-called red places, you are moving towards more restrictions on the right to vote, which includes non-citizens. The whole world of voting rights has become a more polarized world, even more than normal. “

At a rally outside City Hall on Tuesday, supporters of the bill hugged, choked back tears and chanted “Yes, we can” in Spanish as they shared stories of legal residents who stood by. felt excluded from having a say in city services. taxpayers’ money helped fund.

“It is important that the Democratic Party looks at New York and sees that when voting rights are attacked we increase voter turnout,” said Ydanis Rodriguez, a city councilor who is the bill’s main sponsor and represents Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan. Mr. Rodriguez is a former Dominican Republic green card holder who became a citizen in 2000.

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