New York City Mayor Eric Adams started his term on the left of even former Mayor Bill DeBlasio.
Adams released a statement Saturday saying he supports non-citizens living in the Big Apple the right to vote in local elections.
Today, Adams allowed the “Our City, Our Vote” measure to become law, giving approximately 800,000 non-citizens the right to vote in municipal elections.
Mayor Eric Adams says it’s ‘best choice’ to let non-citizens vote in NYC election https://t.co/vzgDM77muv pic.twitter.com/Y58igm4b1k
— New York Post (@nypost) January 10, 2022
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Mayor says he has ‘concern’
Adams issued a statement on the bill on Saturday, saying, “I believe New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation.”
Adams went on to say:
“Although I initially had some reservations about one aspect of the bill, I had a productive dialogue with my colleagues in government who allayed those concerns. I believe allowing legislation is by far the best choice, and I look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process.”
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The bill was passed by the city council in December. At the time, several New York legislators, constitutional pundits, and even the überliberal DeBlasio had also expressed concerns about the bill’s legality.
Adams did not elaborate on what his concerns were.
Now, it’s the law of the city.
Good luck to the New York City voting public.
— Jim (@CSMUSArmy) January 9, 2022
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Voting for non-citizens, COVID passports
While Eric Adams feels that letting those who are not US citizens vote is “the best choice”, he is singing a very different tune when it comes to COVID.
During an interview with ABC News, Adams stated that he would adhere to many of former Mayor DeBlasio’s strict COVID restrictions, some of the strictest in the nation.
The city needs a vaccination certificate – called “Key to NYC” – for a whole range of normal civic activities. For example, to a restaurant or bar, gym, swimming pool or fitness studio, cinemas, concerts and the like.
Adams said: “We’re going to look at the numbers. If we feel like we should mandate that, we’re going to do it, but we encourage them to do it now.”
There is nothing more important than preserving the integrity of our elections. That’s why I filed a lawsuit with my colleagues to block @NYCCouncil‘s law granting non-citizens the right to vote in violation of New York’s constitution and electoral law.https://t.co/8Fmu2S6yhg
— Office of Representative Nicole Malliotakis (@RepMalliotakis) January 10, 2022
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New York not the first
While New York City will be the first major city to grant voting rights to non-citizens, it isn’t the first overall. In Maryland, there are 11 cities where non-citizens can vote in local elections, and two in Vermont.
It’s a move that, as the mayor said, will bring a lot more voters to the polls, voters in a super-blue city. Of the 7 million voting citizens in New York City, one in nine is not a citizen.
Former New York City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez introduced the bill before leaving office and being named transportation commissioner by Mayor Adams.
On the other side of the equation, several places like Alabama, Arizona, Colorado and Florida have passed laws that would prevent non-citizens from voting in municipal elections.
In NYC, non-citizens with a 30-day stay can vote. So anyone who doesn’t pay taxes and stays on a tourist visa for too long can vote. This is a slap in the face to the millions of New Yorkers who will legally live, work and pay taxes here #nyc #JeroftheDay #vote https://t.co/GZxqXJt6rn
— Dolly (@iris_nycsi) January 10, 2022