New York City May Let Non-Citizens Vote in Local Elections
Non-citizen immigrants may get the right to vote in New York City under a controversial plan pitting the city council against Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Under the proposal, non-citizen residents would be able to vote as long as they can provide proof that they entered the U.S. legally and have lived in New York for at least six months. They also cannot have a felony conviction or be deemed mentally incompetent. Furthermore, they must provide a valid form of identification (drivers license, utility bill, bank statement, etc) when they vote for the first time. After that, no ID would be required.
The plan is supported by 34 of the city’s 51 council members, which would give backers enough votes to override a veto by Bloomberg, who has said he opposes the idea.
If the city council passes the proposal, New York would become the largest city in the U.S. to allow non-citizens to vote.
Non-citizen voting in local elections currently exists in six smaller municipalities in Maryland, as well as in at least nine other countries, In the United States, non-citizen voting was actually common in almost forty states until anti-immigrant sentiment put an end to the practice in the 1920s.
To Learn More:
NYC Considering Allowing Non-Citizens To Vote (by Hunter Walker, Talking Points Memo)
NYC Mayoral Candidates Slam Non-Citizen Voting Idea (by Hunter Walker, Talking Points Memo)
New York City May Let Non-Citizens Vote (by Henry Grabar, Atlantic Cities)
Democracy for All?: The Case for Restoring Immigrant Voting in the United States (by Ron Hayduk, Immigrant Movement International)
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