Immigration advocates rally in support of noncitizen voting bill as case enters closing arguments

Local Law 11 passed in 2021, giving thousands of New Yorkers the ability to vote in local elections, but shortly after, Republican officials filed a suit to stop it from being enacted.

News 12 Staff and Associated Press

Jun 23, 2023, 4:33 PM

Updated 390 days ago

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Immigration advocates and community members gathered in Downtown Brooklyn Friday to push for the city to give noncitizen permanent residents the right to vote in local elections.
Local Law 11 passed in 2021, giving thousands of New Yorkers the ability to vote in local elections, but shortly after, Republican officials filed a suit to stop it from being enacted.
When the law passed, New York became the first major U.S. city to grant widespread municipal voting rights to noncitizens, though none had cast ballots yet. The law didn’t affect presidential, congressional or state elections.
A judge then brought the law to a halt, and now thousands of New Yorkers have lost the right to vote despite paying taxes and contributing to their communities.
The law gave municipal voting rights to noncitizens who have been lawful permanent residents of the city for at least 30 days, as well as to those authorized to work in the U.S. — including DACA recipients.
The law’s supporters said it gave an electoral voice to many people who have made a home in the city and pay taxes to it but face tough paths to citizenship. Several Republican elected officials said the law violated provisions in the state constitution and state election law that specifically confer voting rights on citizens.
Members of Latin Justice and the Our City, Our Vote Coalition stood on the steps of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division steps ahead of closing arguments in Fossella v. New York City, which stopped Local Law 11 from being enacted.
Attorney Patrick Stegemoeller says although the law’s being passed in 2021 was a win, he knew it would be met with adversity. He says the legal process may not see relief until the 2025 elections.
"The people closest to the plan should be closest to the power. They do so much without a voice in our government, despite everything that they contribute to our city,” he says.
Legally documented, voting-age noncitizens comprise nearly one in nine of New York City’s 7 million voting-age inhabitants.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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