Appeals court rules NYC law allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections violates state constitution 

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A New York appeals court ruled Wednesday that a law allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections in New York City violates the state’s constitution.

The Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department ruled against the bill allowing noncitizens to vote in local New York City elections, including for mayor, in a 3-1 decision released Wednesday. The New York City Council approved the bill in 2021, which quickly faced a lawsuit challenging the law after Mayor Eric Adams (D) enacted it in 2022.

“This case concerns the validity of Local Law No. 11 (2022) of City of New York, which created a new class of voters eligible to vote in municipal elections consisting of individuals who are not United States citizens and who meet certain enumerated criteria,” Associate Justice Paul Wooten wrote in the appeals court decision.

“We determine that this local law was enacted in violation of the New York State Constitution and Municipal Home Rule Law, and thus, must be declared null and void,” he added.

This delivered a win for those who filed a lawsuit against the bill, including Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), who celebrated the news on X, formerly Twitter.

“Great news! We won in the appellate court and @NYCMayor’s attempt to implement the law to register noncitizens to vote in #NYC elections has been struck down. This is a big victory in preserving both the integrity of our elections & the voice of American citizens!” she said.

Others who joined the lawsuit included New York City Council Republican leader Joe Borelli, who told Politico it was “an easy case.” Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella was also listed as a plaintiff on the case.

“All they had to do was read the state constitution and municipal law. The criticism falls on the proponents of the bill,” Borelli told Politico.

A New York Supreme Court justice also ruled in 2022 that the law violated the state’s constitution. The law would have allowed an estimated 800,000 noncitizens to vote in New York City if it was enacted, according to The Associated Press.

Adams supported the bill when he enacted it in 2022, despite previously raising concerns, The AP reported at the time.

“I believe that New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation,” Adams said in a statement at the time, according to AP.

The Hill has reached out to Adams’ office for comment.

The Associated Press contributed.

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