The Republican National Committee (RNC) sued New York City on Monday after Mayor Eric Adams (D) declined to block a bill allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.
Adams allowed the bill to become law on Sunday, granting more than 800,000 noncitizens living in New York City the right to vote in local elections. Both Adams and former Mayor Bill de Blasio declined to use their veto power, which times out 30 days after a bill’s passage, to strike down the bill after the City Council approved it last month.
“I believe that New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation,” the mayor said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “I look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process.”
RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced on Monday that the GOP is challenging the new law in court, asserting that it threatened election integrity
“American elections should be decided by American citizens. If Democrats can subvert elections this flagrantly in America’s largest city, they can do it anywhere. The RNC is suing to protect the integrity of our elections, and we stand ready to do the same wherever Democrats try to attack the basic security of your ballot,” McDaniel said in a statement.
“Plaintiffs contend that the Non-Citizen Voting Law is unconstitutional and violates Articles II and IX of the New York State Constitution as well as the State Election Law and the Municipal Home Rule Law,” the RNC’s lawsuit states. “Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that the Non-Citizen Voting Law is unconstitutional, violative of New York statutory law, and invalid, as well as an injunction permanently enjoining the Defendants, the Mayor and the New York City Board of Elections, from enforcing or implementing the law in any respect.”
The effort to grant noncitizens the right to vote in New York City has been years in the making. Progressive members of the City Council touted the law as an example for Democrats to follow in enacting elections reforms around the U.S.
“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 in November, referring critically to GOP-backed election reforms in other parts of the country.
Georgia was one of the first states to pass GOP-backed election integrity measures following the 2020 election and concerns over emergency election reforms put in place over the COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats condemned Georgia’s election reforms, claiming that the legislation amounted to modern “Jim Crow” laws, despite fact-checkers findings to the contrary.
The Democratic attacks led to real consequences for Georgians after Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that it was pulling its all-star game and 2021 draft out of Atlanta over the drummed-up controversy over the election reforms. Georgia’s tourism industry alone took an estimated $100 million hit because of the boycott.