NEW YORK (WPIX) — A lawsuit is now pending challenging New York’s noncitizen voting law.
Beginning next year, any legal immigrant living in the city for at least 30 days can register to vote for mayor, their local city council member or any other city position. The bill is expected to give around 800,000 immigrant New Yorkers the right to vote.
Mayor Eric Adams was skeptical of part of the law at first. PIX11 News pressed his spokesman on how vigorously his administration would defend the law.
“To give someone the ability to vote in a mayoral campaign, a borough president campaign, a City Council campaign when they are only there for 30 days, that concerns me,” Adams said Jan. 2.
Adams now says after speaking with other Democratic lawmakers and advocates, he feels noncitizen voting is best for the city’s democratic process.
However, he did not sign the bill into law; he simply took no action, allowing noncitizen voting to automatically go into effect.
A spokesman for the mayor says the city administration will still quote “vigorously defend” the law in court.
“They are welcome to defend it, they are going to lose, and they are going to waste time and taxpayer money doing so,” said City Council GOP Minority Leader Joe Borelli, who is part of a group of Republicans suing to stop noncitizen voting.
Borelli said state law is overwhelmingly on his group’s side.
“The advocates want to make a big deal about having this 30 day requirement but in the same statute, even in the same sentence, it says it requires citizenship in the United States to be able to vote,” Borelli said.
If the lawsuit against noncitizen voting is unsuccessful, the historically dysfunctional NYC Board of Elections is charged with figuring out a separate registration process for noncitizens by the middle of the year.