On Sunday, Mayor Eric Adams (D) signed legislation into law that was voted by the city council in municipal elections for offices such as the mayor and local voting initiatives. Up to one million non-citizens living in New York City will have access to ballot boxes. They will be barred from voting in state or federal elections, the Associated Press reported.
As a result, New York City will be the first large US city to have voting rights, “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,” Adams said in a statement released on Saturday.
By July, the Board of Elections will have drafted an implementation plan, including voter registration laws and provisions that will create separate ballots for local elections, preventing noncitizens from voting in federal and state elections.
“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. 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 Democrat continued.
He didn’t go into detail about those talks. The New York Times reports that opponents are concerned that the initiative will take power away from citizens and dissuade those living in the United States from applying for citizenship. The act will help the city’s 3.1 million foreign-born residents, who account for approximately 40% of the city’s population.
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has repeatedly warned that the bill will probably be challenged in court for breaking state law.
According to Breitbart News, the move might significantly impact local elections while diluting the votes of American citizens in the city.
Several states, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, and Florida, have passed laws that might thwart any attempt to pass legislation similar to what New York City has done.