New York City lawmakers are pushing to open up voting in municipal elections to over 800,000 non-citizen residents, such as green-card holders and others.
The City Council is expected to pass legislation, dubbed “Our City, Our Vote,” on December 9, opening up New York City elections and ballot initiatives to the city’s non-citizen population. Approving the legislation would make New York City the largest municipality in the United States that allows non-citizens to vote, according to The New York Times.
One councilmember said that New York City is creating a model for Democrats as Republicans implement election reforms across states such as Florida, Texas, and Georgia.
“It’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation,” NYC councilman Ydanis Rodriguez said.
The push to grant non-citizens voting rights in New York City has been two years in the making, slowed down by legal concerns. Outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has expressed skepticism over the new law’s legal standing while also claiming that allowing non-citizens to vote erodes incentives to become American citizens. De Blasio has also said he would sign the bill if passed by the council, however.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams (D), who takes office in January, has openly supported the order.
The city’s push for election reforms comes as GOP-led states are passing a slew of election integrity measures after 2020 raised doubts about election procedures that were overhauled because of the outbreak of COVID-19.
Georgia was one of the first states to reform its election processes in an effort to restore trust in its electoral system, which Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law in March. Georgia’s reforms immediately sparked controversy and backlash from progressive critics, however, who accused the reforms of being a new form of Jim Crow laws.
The accusations were echoed all the way up to the White House by President Joe Biden, who spread false information about Georgia’s laws. Biden also pushed the MLB to boycott the state over its election reforms. The league later chose to pull its all-star game and 2021 draft, both scheduled to be held in Atlanta, out of the state. The MLB was later sued for the move. As The Daily Wire reported:
Job Creators Network sued the MLB, Commissioner Rob Manfred, MLB’s players union, and union executive director Tony Clark in a federal court in New York about two months after Manfred announced that the MLB was boycotting Georgia over election reforms. The MLB’s decision came days after President Joe Biden endorsed the league and other corporations wading into Georgia politics.
“MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million, we want the game back where it belongs,” Job Creators Network president and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said in a statement. “This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical, and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia’s new voting law which includes Voter-ID. Major League Baseball itself requests ID at will-call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and at ballparks all across the country.”
“Small businesses in this community had valid contracts relating to the All-Star Game and other events, the result of two years of planning and all that was ripped away by fear and misinformation spewed by political activists. Many states, including Colorado where the game has been moved, have similar or more restrictive election laws,” he continued. “This move essentially tells fans of teams in many other cities that they can never again host the All-Star Game; it’s hypocritical, illegal, and we won’t stand for it.”