Friday, September 30, 2022

New York lawmakers have passed a bill that would give stateless people the right to vote

New York lawmakers have passed a bill that would give stateless people the right to vote

Stateless people in New York City will be eligible to vote in municipal elections under measures approved by City Council on Thursday, giving 800,000 green card holders and so-called Dreamers access to ballot boxes.

Only Mayor Bill de Blasio’s potential veto prevented the measure from becoming law, but the Democrat said he would not veto it. It is unknown whether the bill will face legal challenges.

The council vote was a historic moment for efforts that had stalled for a long time.

Council member Francisco Moya, whose family is from Ecuador, suffocated when he supported the bill.

“It’s for my beautiful mother, she can vote for her son,” Moya said as she joined the session via video with her immigrant mother.

More than a dozen communities across the United States have already allowed stateless people to vote in local elections, including 11 in Maryland and two in Vermont. But New York City is the biggest place that gives non-citizens the right to vote.

Non-citizens are still unable to vote for the president or members of Congress in federal races or in state elections that elect governors, judges, and legislators.

The city’s move could intensify the national debate over voting rights, especially among those who falsely claim that widespread fraud was committed by stateless people in federal elections.

Last year, Alabama, Colorado and Florida passed regulations that would prevent attempts to pass laws like New York. Arizona and North Dakota are already banned from books.

“The bill we’re drafting today will have national consequences,” said Lori Cambo, a Democrat who opposed the bill, a majority leader on the council. He expressed concern that the measure could reduce the influence of African-American voters.

Legally documented, non-citizens of voting age make up almost one in nine of the city’s 7 million voting-age population. The measure will help stateless people who are legal permanent residents of the city for at least 30 days, as well as those allowed to work in the U.S., including so-called Dreamers, to elect a mayor, city council members and district presidents. , supervisor and public defender.

“It’s no secret; we are making history today. Fifty years later, our children will look back to that moment and see a coalition of different advocates united to write a new page in New York history by helping immigrants. power, ”council member Ydanis Rodriguez, the bill’s general sponsor, said in a statement after Thursday’s vote.

The law instructs the Electoral Council to develop an implementation plan by July, including rules for voter registration and rules that would create separate ballots for municipal races to prevent stateless persons from casting ballots in federal and state elections. Until the 2023 election, stateless people will not be eligible to vote.

Even if de Blasio decided to veto the bill, there was enough support to repeal it. If the mayor decides not to comply with it, the measure becomes law by default. Incoming Mayor Eric Adams said he would support the bill.

Republican leader Joseph Borelli, a member of the council, said a legal issue could arise. Opposition groups said the council did not have the right to give non-citizens the right to vote and should have taken action from state legislators in the first place.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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