Tuesday, January 11, 2022

DEVELOPING: NY Republicans Sue to Block Unconstitutional Measure Allowing Non-Citizens to Vote

Source: NY Post

Published: January 10, 2022

By: Sam Raskin

A group of New York Republicans filed a lawsuit Monday to block a new law that will soon allow about 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections.

The suit, filed in Staten Island Supreme Court, asks a judge to issue an injunction that prevents the city Board of Elections and the mayor from “implementing the law in any respect” due to its unconstitutionality.

“The law is clear and the ethics are even clearer: we shouldn’t be allowing citizens of other nations to vote in our elections, full stop. We are only two weeks into the Adams

Administration and he is already kowtowing to the radical City Council,” New York Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy, a plaintiff in the suit, said in a statement.


“This lawsuit is the only thing that will stop them from their ultimate goal of eradicating all the lines between citizens and non-citizens,” he said. 

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), who represents Staten Island and Brooklyn, called the new measure “careless,” claiming it “dilutes” perspectives of US citizens.

The City Council approved a measure that would allow non-citizens to vote in New York City elections. - Stefan Jeremiah

“There is nothing more important than preserving the integrity of our election system,” Malliotakis said. “The right to vote is a sacred right given only to United States citizens. This careless legislation violates the state constitution, dilutes the voices of American citizens and is not in line with the views of the vast majority of our city.”

Plaintiffs in the suit include Assemblymen Michael Reilly (R South Shore) and Michael Tannousis (R- Staten Island/ Southern Brooklyn), Councilmen David Carr (R- Staten Island) and Robert Holden (D- Queens), Republican Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, as well as Councilwomen Inna Vernikov (R- Brooklyn), Joann Ariola (R- Queens) and Vickie Paladino (R- Queens).

Along with local GOP members, constitutional experts have raised legal concerns about the law ahead of its passage. The state constitution, Article 2, Section 1, grants the right to vote in all elections to “every citizen” 18 years of age or older.

Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez is the sponsor of the bill. - William Farrington

“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 30 days next preceding an election,” the relevant section says.

“Anyone reading NY state election law in plain English can see that it prohibits foreign citizen voting,” said Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island), the new City Council minority leader and another plaintiff in the suit.

The new law, passed in December by the City Council despite objections from several members, was given the thumbs up by Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday, when he announced he was allowing the measure to pass.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis called the new measure “careless.” - AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

“While I initially had some concerns about one aspect of the bill, I had a productive dialogue with my colleagues in government that put those concerns at ease,” Adams said in a statement. “I believe allowing the legislation to be enacted is by far the best choice, and look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process.”

The decision came after he on Jan. 1 expressed reservations about the aspect of the law that requires that non-citizens live in the five boroughs for just 30 days to be able to cast ballots in municipal contests.

On Monday, City Hall spokesman José Bayona said, “The Administration intends to vigorously defend the law in court.”

The bill — sponsored by ex-Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez, now Adams’ transportation commissioner — allows non-citizens to participate in local elections by expanding voting eligibility to green card holders, which is about 10 percent of the city’s population, and recipients of deferred action. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has said that nearly 800,000 New Yorkers would be covered under the legislation, including 622,000 green card holders.

Read more at: NYPost.com
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