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NYC council to vote on bill that could allow 800,000 non-citizens to vote in city elections

The bill calls for allowing legal residents and those with work permits to vote in municipal elections

Published: November 24, 2021 7:15am

Updated: November 24, 2021 10:27am

New York City lawmakers are set to vote on a measure that if passed would allow roughly 800,000 non-citizens to vote in municipal elections.

The proposed bill would amend the city's charter by including a new chapter that would allow green card holders and those with work authorizations visas to vote in citywide elections. The bill would also allow for the creation of a separate municipal voter registry and registration process.

The Democrat-controlled City Council will vote on the bill Dec. 9.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams, a Democrat, supported the idea and campaigned on it during his election earlier this year.

"We cannot be a beacon to the world and continue to attract the global talent, energy and entrepreneurship that has allowed our city to thrive for centuries if we do not give immigrants a vote in how this city is run and what are priorities are for the future," he said while on the campaign trail.

However, Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, feels differently.

"I don't believe it is legal. Our law department is very clear on this," he said during an interview on "The Brian Lehrer Show." Adding that the second issue with the proposal is that it undermines efforts to get immigrants to become citizens. 

"I think there's a real set of mixed feelings it generates in me about what's the right way to approach this issue," he also said. 

The bill stipulates that residents must be living in the city for at least 30 days prior to an election and will apply exclusively to municipal elections, not any state or federal ballot questions.