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New York Supreme Court Strikes Down NYC Law Allowing Noncitizen Residents to Vote in City Elections

The law went into effect in January and would have impacted elections beginning early next year.
Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photography Office
Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photography Office

Noncitizens who reside legally in New York City will no longer be permitted to vote in city elections, according to the state Supreme Court, which struck down a law that went into effect earlier this year.

The law would have granted New York's more than 800,000 legal noncitizens the right to vote in city elections beginning next year. On Monday, however, the court ruled that there is "no statuary ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting noncitizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it." 

"The Municipal Voting Law is 'impermissible simply and solely for the reason that the Constitution says that it cannot be done.' Though voting is a right that so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the Constitution" wrote the court.

The Republican National Committee filed suit against the law on January 10 of this year, one day after it took effect. The RNC, joined by the New York Republican Party, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), and several City Council members who voted against the bill, named Mayor Eric Adams, the City Council, and the New York City Board of Elections in the suit, arguing they were executing a "blatant attack on election integrity."

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called the Monday ruling a "huge victory" for safe elections and Americans laws.

The law would have made it legal for noncitizen residents, like beneficiaries of the DACA program, or green card holders to vote in city elections. The suit, however, successfully raised concerns about the law's implementation and whether noncitizens would effectively be kept off voter registration rolls for state and local elections.

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