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New NYC Bill Seeks To Allow 800,000 Noncitizen Immigrants To Vote In Local Elections

The New York City Council is reportedly preparing to pass a bill that would allow approximately 800,000 people who are not citizens of the United States to vote in local elections.

The New York Times [1] reported that “Our City, Our Vote” legislation would allow for special voter registration forms to be granted to migrants who hold green cards, those who maintain a legal work status in the United States, and DACA recipients. The bill also calls for training poll workers and community education campaigns to ensure every voter receives the correct ballot.

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Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez defended the bill, saying that it is good for Democrats because they can further their talking points claiming that “voting rights are being attacked.”

“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,” he said.

This measure is expected to be approved early next month by a veto-proof margin. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has already said that he will not veto the legislation, though he also expressed concern that the bill would undermine the “value of citizenship” if it dissuaded residents from seeking it.

Joseph Borelli, a Republican councilman who represents Staten Island, slammed the bill by saying that it would “weaken” citizens’ votes.

“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.”

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Republicans have been trying to fight bills like this all over the country. Last month, the Republican National Committee announced [5] it would sue Montpelier and Winooski, Vermont, for changing their town charters to accommodate municipal voting by non-citizens.

“Democrats are trying to dismantle the integrity of our elections. In addition to attacking widely supported safeguards like voter ID, Democrats also want foreign citizens to vote in American elections,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News [6] earlier this year.

“Republicans are fighting back on this far-left assault against election integrity — unlike radical Democrats, we believe that our elections should be decided solely by American citizens,” she added. “This is a matter of principle and we will fight in all 50 states to ensure this remains the case.”

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“I believe if someone wishes to be able to vote they should be a citizen,” Vermont state Sen. Brian Collamore added at the time. “The Montpelier bill allows what is defined as a legal resident of the United States to be able to vote in city elections…If someone is here on a permanent basis, why would he or she not want to participate in the process to become a citizen?”