NYC Council Begs High Court to Allow Noncitizens to Vote, Not Even Hiding Its True Desire Anymore


Usually, when liberal locales want to sneak noncitizens onto the voter rolls for local elections, they try a rhetorical shell game to try to hide their true intentions. So, I’ll say this much for the folks in New York: There was no verbal prestidigitation when the City Council asked the New York Supreme Court to strike down rulings that would disallow non-Americans from voting in city races.

According to a Monday New York Post report, Gotham officials are appealing a ruling by an appeals court last month that nullified laws that would have allowed roughly 800,000 green card-holding noncitizens to take part in local voting.

“Today’s filing to appeal the Second Department’s recent decision seeks a determination from the state’s highest court that the law is consistent with the State Constitution, Election Law, and the Municipal Home Rule Law,” said Rendy Desamours, spokesman for the City Council.

“Empowering New Yorkers to participate in our local democratic process can only strengthen New York City by increasing civic engagement,” he said.

In February, the Post reported, the appeals court struck down the laws, passed over objections (but not a veto) from then-Mayor Bill de Blasio in December 2021.

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“People who are looking to get elected to office will now have to spend the same amount of time in the communities affected by this legislation as they do in upper-class neighborhoods,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, the bill’s chief sponsor, according to The New York Times.

The state appeals court that took up the case did not share Rodriguez’s sanguine view of the bill’s meliorative effects on the democratic process.

“We determine that this local law was enacted in violation of the New York State Constitution and Municipal Home Rule Law, and thus, must be declared null and void,” Appellate Judge Paul Wooten wrote for the majority in a 3-1 decision, according to the Post.

“Article IX [of the state constitution] provides that the elected officials of ‘local governments’ shall be elected by ‘the people,’ which incorporates by reference the eligibility requirements for voting under article II, section 1, applying exclusively to ‘citizens,’” the ruling noted.

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State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis, who represents the borough of Staten Island, was one of the plaintiffs in the case. He hailed the decision.

“During a time where nearly 200,000 migrants have flooded our city and streets, disrupting the public and attacking our police officers, my colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to protect our voting laws which were created for citizens of the United States,” Tannousis said.

“Democracy always wins and I am proud to say it was delivered yet again today,” he said.

Yes, well, one of the features of our wonderful American democracy is its practically endless appeals process, which means this isn’t dead yet — and the plaintiffs who got the measure struck down will have their day in court. Again. And probably again, too.

“In plain English, the New York state constitution says only citizens have a right to vote in these elections,” said Staten Island President Vito Fossella, another one of the plaintiffs who filed the legal challenge. “The city council has no authority to do what they didn’t.”

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“We are going to be ready to do what we can,” he said. Fossella added that he was “not surprised” by the appeal.

Ironically — considering the fact that he’s seen as more conservative than his predecessor — current Mayor Eric Adams supports allowing noncitizens to vote, saying it represents the “best choice” available. However, his office wouldn’t respond to Monday’s developments.

However, it’s not like New York is alone.

In December, the Boston Herald reported, the Boston City Council approved a materially similar bill that would allow those with “legal status” to vote in municipal elections.

San Francisco one-upped them all last month by swearing in a noncitizen Chinese immigrant to the city’s election commission.

Legislation and appointments like this dilute the power of those who are citizens of the republic that governs their jurisdiction. There’s nothing wrong with law-abiding legal aliens, but let’s be frank: Their avenues of escape from problems created by progressivism gone amok don’t just involve fleeing the city or state but fleeing the country where they hold citizenship.

Furthermore, it’s the classic slippery slope. If we decide that legal aliens should have a say in how jurisdictions are run and the government has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it has little stomach for removing illegal immigrants, why shouldn’t they have a say in how things are run? After all, while they might not be de jure denizens, progressive paradises have made them de facto residents.

You may think this is funny. You may think I’m engaging in a bit of reductio ad absurdum here. I have one word for you: Wait.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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