Dec 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New York City grants noncitizens voting rights in local elections

Photo of the New York City skyline at night, with the Statue of Liberty lit up in the middle
The Empire State is lit in red, white and blue to mark Labor Day weekend as it stands behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City on Sept. 4. Photo: Gary Hershorn via Getty Images

The New York City Council voted 33-14 on Thursday to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections starting in 2023.

Why it matters: Advocates say immigrants who live in the city, pay taxes and participate in its communities should be able to help decide local leaders. The city is the largest municipality to approve such a measure, Washington Post reports.

Details: Roughly 800,000 noncitizens will now be allowed to cast ballots for the mayor, city council members and other municipal offices, per NBC.

  • They will remain ineligible to vote in state and federal elections.

What to watch: Republicans have vowed to challenge the measure, claiming it violates the state's constitution and election law.

The big picture: Over a dozen smaller municipalities allow noncitizens to vote, per AP. North Dakota, Arizona, Florida, Colorado and Alabama ban noncitizen voting entirely.

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