New York City may soon adopted a bill allowing non-citizens to vote. It may appear paradoxical but there is a pro-immigrant case against non-citizen voting. This perspective by Michael R. Bloomberg is published by Bloomberg. Here is an excerpt:
Generations of immigrants have sought U.S. citizenship to gain full access to the American dream, including all the rights and responsibilities that go along with it — chief of them, the right (and responsibility) to vote. But this month, the New York City Council voted 33-14 to authorize noncitizen voting. The bill would grant some 800,000 immigrants with green cards or work permits, and who have been living in the city for 30 days, the right to participate in elections for mayor, city council and other offices, as well as in local ballot questions.
The bill is likely to be challenged in court, because it conflicts with the plain language of the state constitution, which repeatedly uses the word “citizen” in its suffrage clause: “Every citizen shall be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people and upon all questions submitted to the vote of the people provided that such citizen is eighteen years of age or over and shall have been a resident of this state, and of the county, city, or village for thirty days next preceding an election.”
For good measure, the bill also appears to violate state election statutes, which list mandatory qualifications for voters: “No person shall be qualified to register for and vote at any election unless he is a citizen of the United States and is or will be, on the day of such election, eighteen years of age or over and a resident of this state.” This is hardly ambiguous language.
Read the full article here.