Drone Pilot SchoolNew York Moves to Allow 800,000 Noncitizens to Vote in Local Elections

November 24, 2021by helo-10

“Someone who has lived here for 30 days will have a say in how we raise our taxes, our debt and long-term pension liabilities,” he said. “These are things people who are temporary residents should not have a say in.”

The push to allow noncitizens to vote in New York City comes as an increasingly polarized country is dealing with a swath of new laws to restrict voting, as well as the economic problems caused by declining immigration.

Voters in Alabama, Colorado and Florida passed ballot measures last year stipulating that only U.S. citizens could vote, joining Arizona and North Dakota in specifying that noncitizens could not vote in state and local elections.

On the other side of the issue, several towns in Maryland and Vermont already grant noncitizens some municipal voting rights, and noncitizens can vote in school board elections in San Francisco. Other municipalities in California, Maine, Illinois and Massachusetts are weighing similar legislation.

“In the so-called blue states, we are moving toward expansion and that includes expansion of noncitizen voting,” said Joshua A. Douglas, a professor at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law who studies voting rights and election law. “In the so-called red places, you are moving toward more constrictions on the right to vote, which includes noncitizens. The whole world of voting rights has become one that is more polarized, 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 felt left out of having a say over the city services their tax dollars helped finance.

“It’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation,” said Ydanis Rodriguez, a councilman who is the bill’s prime sponsor and represents Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan. Mr. Rodriguez is a former green card holder from the Dominican Republic who became a citizen in 2000.

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