Republicans challenge the constitutionality of NYC Non-Citizen Voting Law

by Ricky Rillera

| Photo via nycmayorsoffice

NEW YORK – Republican leaders in New York City, filed a lawsuit Monday seeking immediate injunctive relief to stop the Non-Citizen Voting Law granting voting rights to non-citizens until the courts ultimately decide the case.

Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella, U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), and Councilmembers Inna Vernikov (R-Brooklyn), Joann Ariola (R-Queens), and Vickie Paladino (R-Queens) were among party leaders who sued in Staten Island State Supreme Court.

The complaint comes after the City Council passed legislation in December 2021 allowing an estimated 800,000 permanent residents and DREAMers the right to vote in municipal elections. Mayor Eric Adams allowed the measure to become law by not issuing a veto on Monday, Jan. 10. The complainants aim to block the Non-Citizen Law arguing that it violates articles II and IX of the New York State Constitution and State Election Law and Municipal Home Rule Law. They said that section 5-102 (1) of chapter 17, New York election law defines a voter as “a citizen of the United States.”

The suit further argues this new law creates a new class of non-citizen “municipal voters” and was not approved via a public referendum as required by Municipal Home Rule Law.

City Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) said, “Anyone reading NY state election law in plain English can see that it prohibits foreign citizen voting.”

“This unconstitutional act cheapens what it means to be a citizen and is an insult to every immigrant who has followed the law, taken citizenship classes, and swore an oath to our nation. That is why, as promised today we are filing suit to challenge this law,” said Fossella.

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