Court says ‘no’ to non-citizen voting law

The state Supreme Court said Monday that a new law allowing non-citizens to vote in New York City elections is unconstitutional.

Justice Ralph J. Porzio said the state Constitution guarantees the voting rights of eligible citizens only.

“Though voting is a right that so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the Constitution,” Porzio said.

The law would have allowed more than 800,000 green card holders and permanent legal residents to vote in City Council and mayoral elections. It would have gone into effect in January 2023.

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Assemblymember Michael Tannousis, City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli, Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella and State Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar were among those who filed suit to challenge the law, which the City Council passed in December.

“I stand with the vast majority of New Yorkers who are pleased to see the court strike down Democrats’ shameful attempt to dilute the voices of American citizens by allowing non-citizens to vote,” Malliotakis said. “The government should be working to create more trust in our elections, not less.”

Tannousis said the court’s decision is a big win for democracy.

“As the son of immigrants that came to this country legally and worked tirelessly to become citizens, I consider voting to be a sacred right bestowed on American citizens,” he said. “The idea that a person can move to New York City and register to vote after 30 days is preposterous and ripe for fraud. Political partisans tried to enact a law that was a blatant effort to skirt the Constitution and manipulate our democratic process for personal and political gain.”

“Time and again, New York Democrats have abused the power entrusted to them to illegally rig the system while trampling on citizens’ rights,” said New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy. “Whether it was this outrageous violation or their illegal gerrymander, we have proven that we will fight them in court and win, but this should serve as yet another reason why we need to break up one-party rule and restore balance and accountability to our government.” 

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