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Queens Council Members Split Over Granting Non Citizens NYC Voting Rights

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Jan. 27, 2020 By Kristen Torres

The Queens delegation is split over a city bill that would grant green card holders and many other legal immigrants the right to vote in city elections.

The bill, introduced in the City Council on Jan. 23, would grant permanent residents and other legal immigrants with the right to vote in city elections, including for mayor, comptroller, city council and borough president.

Queens Council Members Costa Constantinides, Donovan Richards, Jimmy Van Bramer, Daniel Dromm, I. Daneek Miller, Adrienne E. Adams and Antonio Reynoso are among the 29 council members who have sponsored the legislation.

Queens Council Members Robert Holden, Paul Vallone, Karen Koslowitz, Francisco Moya, Barry Grodenchik, Rory Lancman, Eric Ulrich and Peter Koo have not signed on.

Under the bill, city officials would be tasked with creating a new voter registration form for “municipal voters,” who are non-citizens but hold greens cards or work authorizations and have lived in the city for at least 30 days prior to an election.

Council Member Dromm said in a Tweet Friday that any NYC resident who pays taxes should have the right to vote.

“No taxation without representation is a principal the US was founded on,” he wrote. “It’s a basic civil right.”

The legislation has the potential to make a huge impact on city politics—nearly 660,000 New Yorkers hold a green card, according to a 2018 report by the Mayor’s Office on Immigrant Affairs, and would be given voting rights under the new bill.

If approved, the bill could go into effect as early as 2021.

Critics of the legislation, however, said granting voting rights to non-citizens is simply not fair to citizen voters.

“I don’t think this is the right way to legislate…I believe that citizens are the only people who should have the right to vote,” said Council Member Robert Holden in a statement Friday.

“We should be focusing on increasing the poor voter turnout we have seen among citizens in recent elections.”

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11 Comments

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Common Sense

This is insane! Once a person becomes a naturalized citizen they can vote. Why would you become a citizen at all (or ever!) if you get the all the benefits without going through the process?

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southerner

Why is this insane? I think it is sane. This is local election not a national election only which should require citizenship. If we follow your logic, US citizens of other states/cities should be allowed to vote in NYC elections, even if they don’t live/work here only because they are citizens of this country??

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Saint Anthony

A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.”

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Chas

I own Three homes, pay taxes on all of them . Two in NY ,one in another state.
But I can only vote in one state and one district.
There are plenty of people who don’t pay taxes and still get to vote.

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MRLIC

NYC is a JOKE Already
This will make more States laugh at us. See Bail reform how that is working out

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Anonymous

These are legal residents who work, own businesses and property, file tax returns, etc., and are often on path to citizenship or are married to citizens. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to vote in city (not national) elections? Nothing to laugh about, just commonsense.

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Proper nouns are hard

Neither “states” or “bail” are not proper nouns. You don’t need to capitalize them.

I think they deserve voting rights more than a citizen that can’t speak English.

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You voted for the president that's soft on border security

Trump is too weak to make Mexico make a “one-time payment” for the wall, as promised. Maybe we wouldn’t have this problem if he hadn’t lied.

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That's completely false

Remember when Trump lost the vote by 3 million votes?

Then suddenly…said that same number COINCIDENTALLY were non-citizens.

Like most Trump lovers, you were gullible enough to believe him.

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