Is New York’s Voting Rights For Non-Citizens Legal?

This week, New York became the latest city to grant voting rights to non-residents – a move that could give voting rights to 800,000 non-citizens in city elections. There are roughly a dozen such cities granting voting rights across the country but there are major questions over the legality of this measure in New York.

The purpose of these laws is to enfranchise non-citizens who pay taxes and are part of these communities. The New York law only extends to permanent residents.  Critics argue that it is part of a trend toward erasing the distinctions between citizens and non-citizens.

The law, however, faces a credible challenge in the absence of action from the state legislature in Albany.

The first stumbling block is the state constitution itself. N.Y. Const. art. II, § 1 provides that “Every citizen shall be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people and upon all questions submitted to the vote of the people provided that such citizen is eighteen years of age or over and shall have been a resident of this state, and of the county, city, or village for thirty days next preceding an election.”

Proponents would have to establish that non-citizens can be treated as citizens “entitled to vote at every election.” It is possible that a court could interpret the language broadly in a non-exclusionary way.  Proponents note that noncitizens have previously voted in some New York city elections.

The second barrier is the New York state election law, which limits the franchise “in any election” to US citizens:

No person shall be qualified to register for and vote at any election unless he is a citizen of the United States and is or will be, on the day of such election, eighteen years of age or over, and a resident of this state and of the county, city or village for a minimum of thirty days next preceding such election.

However, there is a savings clause that says that if a conflict exists between state election law and “any other law,” the latter prevails absent a specific prohibition in the election law. The New York City law could be argued as such “other law” that prevails in a conflict.

Finally, there is Section 23(2)(e) of New York’s Municipal Home Rule Law, along with § 38 of New York City’s charter, which provides that a local law shall be subject to mandatory referendum if it “[a]bolishes an elective office, or changes the method of … electing … an elective officer, or changes the term of an elective office, or reduces the salary of an elective officer during his term of office.” This is a measure coming from the City Council itself, not a referendum.

It is clear that the law will be challenged and there are credible claims to be made in court. Even Mayor de Blasio has expressed doubts over the legality of the law. What is clear is that various Democratic cities are moving to adopt similar laws, though much will depend on their state constitutions and laws. In New York, the Constitution raised a challenging interpretive task as does the Home Rule law. In the end, this would seem a matter for the state legislature to resolve. The addition of 800,000 votes in New York City alone is a major shift in the voting population. The resulting policy changes impact that whole state and obviously citizens travel and change residences between these cities. It is a matter that should be addressed by the whole state on the whether voting should remain a right exclusive to citizens.

151 thoughts on “Is New York’s Voting Rights For Non-Citizens Legal?”

  1. If you don’t want white men to be angry, then don’t give them valid, legitimate reasons to be so.

  2. Nice parroting of talking points. Why have an international legislative branch without an international executive branch to match?

    1. These numbers are fake they conveniently added the Latinos to the white population.
      Also the blacks are 13% of the country and commit 37% of violent crime in 2019 .
      2021 these numbers are skyrocketing

  3. The 2019 FBI Crime Statistics Table: Whites were arrested FAR more than all other races combined in virtually every category of ALL CRIMES;

    including gun violence, aggravated assault, sexual assault & rape, crimes against family & children, burglary, car theft, arson, vandalism, theft, stolen property, fraud, embezzlement, DWIs, and property crimes:

    TOTAL ARRESTS: 6,816,975
    WHITE ARRESTS: 4,729,290
    BLACK ARRESTS: 1,815,144
    INDIAN ARRESTS: (164,852)
    ASIAN ARRESTS: (86,733)

    VIOLENT CRIMES: Violent crimes are offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
    WHITES: 209,848 violent crimes
    BLACKS: 129,346
    INDIANS: 8201
    ASIANS: 5829

    PROPERTY CRIMES: Property crimes are offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.
    WHITES: 517,502 property crimes
    BLACKS: 231,087
    INDIANS: 14,780
    ASIANS: (9443)

    WHITES: 11,588 rapes
    BLACKS: 4,427
    ASIAN: (276)
    INDIAN: (247)

    WHITES: 169,467 assaults
    BLACKS: (91,164)
    INDIANS: (7192)
    ASIANS: (4102)

    WHITES: 81,104 burglaries
    BLACKS: 34,188
    INDIANS: (1728)
    ASIANS: (1464)

    WHITES: 393,226 thefts
    BLACKS: 178,937
    INDIANS: 11,718
    ASIANS: (7133)

    WHITES: 4,453 arsons
    BLACKS: 1,553
    ASIANS: (125)
    INDIANS: (121)

    WHITES: 38,719 Car Thieves
    BLACKS: 16,409
    INDIANS: 1213
    ASIANS: (721)

    WHITES: 38,751 receiving, selling stolen goods
    BLACKS: 21,998
    INDIANS: (1108)
    ASIANS: (825)

    WHITES: 86,360 vandals
    BLACKS: 34,670
    INDIANS: (3198)
    ASIANS: (1598)

    WHITES: 21,537
    BLACKS: (9668)
    ASIANS: (501)
    INDIANS: (308)

    WHITES: 51,861
    BLACKS: 24,041
    INDIANS: (1424)
    ASIANS: (1208)

    WHITES: 5,983
    BLACKS: 3,587
    ASIANS: (179)
    INDIANS: (114)

    WHITES: 60,494
    BLACKS: 45,530
    ASIANS: (1247)
    INDIANS: (1129)

    SEX OFFENSES: (other than rape & prostitution)
    WHITES: 21,360 sex offenses
    BLACKS: (5903)
    ASIANS: (668)
    INDIANS: (596)

    WHITES: 748,874 drug violations
    BLACKS: 274,670
    INDIANS: 14,098
    ASIANS: 11,857

    WHITES: 38,196 offenses
    BLACKS: 16,454
    INDIANS: (2821)
    ASIANS: (493)

    WHITES: 526,928 DWIs
    BLACKS: 90,888
    ASIANS: 13,071
    INDIANS: 12,373

    WHITES: 164.797
    BLACKS: 32,255
    INDIANS: 18,238
    ASIANS: (2431)

    WHITES: 10,763
    BLACKS: 4497
    INDIANS: (473)
    ASIANS: (201)

    WHITES: 1,532,998 other offenses
    BLACKS: 577,689
    INDIANS: 54,059
    ASIANS: 22,248

    WHITES: 1,008
    BLACKS: (257)
    INDIANS: (49)
    ASIANS: (2)

    1. StatMaterson: I am LOL by your attempt to prove something with raw numbers (not stats). Calculate the percentage of crimes by each group and then compare it to the percentage of each group in the population as a whole.and you will find out which group commits the most crimes. So if this is roughly the percentage of the population as a whole and whites make up 76.4% but only commits 61% of violent crime but Black or African American make up 13.4% of the population but commit about 38% of violent crime…… Hmm? So which group is actually more likely to commit violent crimes? For every white american there is less than 1 violent crime committed. For every Black American there are 3 violent crimes committed. I Hope you learned something.
      White alone, percent  76.3%
      Black or African American alone, percent(a)  13.4%
      American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent(a)  1.3%
      Asian alone, percent(a)  5.9%

    2. What porcentage of their respective demographic cohorts every group represent, that’s teh question. Since trhere are still more Whites than blax, Whites have more people in welfare but 80% of blax are sucking from state tits, a bigger proportionn than Whites… And forget not even blax can identify themselves as whites and be recorded in that way in police statistics… Just pay a visit to FBI most wanted, and look at all those “whites”.

    3. Of course Whites are the top in all categories there are at least 5 times more Whites than all other groups. Not sure what your point is.

    4. And the above post, ladies and gentlemen is what happens when YOU LIE WITH STATIISTICS TO PRESENT A LOP-SIDED VIEW! Obviously being about 70% of the population whites PLUS HISPANICS which are included under Whites in that selectively presented data raises the white crime levels will commit more crimes.

      For example, of the 3,650 murders committed by whites & Hispanics in 2019, 1,341 were committed by Hispanics. Of course, the LIAR ABOVE, didn’t put either of those facts out there because they are too busy creating a false narrative.

      Black (13% of population) percent of various crimes (2019):

      Murder – 51.2%
      Rape – 26.7%
      Robbery – 52.7%

      All Violent Crimes – 36.4%
      All Property Crimes – 29.8%

      In short, Blacks are, on a per-capita basis, the most violent and criminal element in the US. This is followed by Hispanics, then Whites with Asians being the least criminal major ethnic group in the US.

      And the thing is, LIKE WITH ALL ETHNIC GROUPS, IT’S JUST A TINY MINORITY. But, in the end, it is what it is.

      1. And there you have it. Well-said. The post you responded to is just more slippery trickery from a leftist. Why can’t they just argue honestly? It is simple, they are not truth seekers. I came to this site because I thought it would be high-brow truth seeking by people across the political spectrum who care about this country. Instead I find the bombastic name-calling and outrageous trolls too tedious to wade through for the occasional gem. I think in the future I will just read Turley’s articles and skip the comments. As for my fellow truth-seekers, I suggest you not engage those who are clearly not seeking the same goal, rather that you simply ignore them.

  4. Outrageous. Only citizens have the right to vote.

    Why stop at residents? Let’s ship the entire state of TX over to CA for our next election, finally vote in a conservative who will uphold the law for governor and DAs, and then they can go back to TX.

  5. When truth is a threat to them, they will attack it with an abundance of counter-truth.

  6. Would you let a woman get raped without trying to stop the rape? Or would you stand by and say “not my problem”. What kind of monster would let that happen? That’s what would happen if Russia invades Ukraine.

  7. Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed whom. Let’s conduct a scientific study with crime statistics, police records, and court documents to see who has racked up a greater body count: blacks or whites.To make it fair, lets start with the year 1941. If the average life span is 80, then most people living today are not responsible for what happened before 1941.

  8. CNN: “There’s nothing more frightening in America today than an angry White man”

    It’s not the “radical Islamic terrorist” that I fear the most.

    Nor is it the brown immigrant or the fiery Black Lives Matter protester, or whatever the latest bogeyman is that some politician tells me I should dread.

    It’s encountering an armed White man in public who has been inspired by the White men on trial in these three cases.

  9. Well it looks like we have another fool that wants to post 100 comments a day in contradiction to what common sense says is the correct perspective. Ladies and gentlemen I give you Ron, the newest pain in the neck narcissist who will try to argue against everyone because he never got to go to his prom.

    1. CNN: “There’s nothing more frightening in America today than an angry White man”

      It’s not the “radical Islamic terrorist” that I fear the most.

      Nor is it the brown immigrant or the fiery Black Lives Matter protester, or whatever the latest bogeyman is that some politician tells me I should dread.

      It’s encountering an armed White man in public who has been inspired by the White men on trial in these three cases.

    2. IT’S OFFICIAL: Study Finds AR15 Owners Have Highest Prevalence Of Micro-Penises

      Dr. Hoggsealt reports, “For the sportsman who hunts once or twice a year and owns a shotgun or two there was a preponderance of unimpressive penises of two-inches or less.

      These are mostly white men who in addition to hunting, compensate for their penis deficiency with large pick-up trucks, meth and alcohol.

      It’s when you get to the white men with multiple weapons and AR15s that you really start to see those micro-dicks.

      These men often have open carry permits and seem to take pleasure in creating fear in the general population as a way to compensate for their tiny microdicks and their diminished role in society.”

      The study indicates white, male conservative AR-15 owners suffer low self-esteem, usually from a lack of contact with diverse information and people. They have stereotypical and outdated views of male gender roles and aren’t open to new ideas or personal evolution. Their view of a real man is a cross between spaghetti western Clint Eastwood and John Wick who indiscriminately gun down people often without cause or consequence. Conversely, they see men like Colin Kaepernick, who take strong, non-violent stances about societal injustice as weak and impotent.

      Dr. Hoggsealt also found white men tend to feel inadequate once their sports days are over and they settle down with one woman.

      With no place to express their strength and masculinity, no games to dominate at, they often feel a void in their lives.

      In the past they typically filled this void with work and being the breadwinner, but with changing roles that sees women adding significantly to the bottom line these men feel diminished.

      Add a micro-penis into the mix and you have a man in desperate need to express his masculinity.

      More and more white male conservatives are turning to firearms as a way to recapture their perceived loss of dominance.


      1. The anti-gun left is simply fascinated by penis size and distribution. Perhaps if you actually saw one you could calm down about the topic; ask your partner to show you his, and try to move past this.

    3. Hullbobby,
      This site is the closest I come to social media.
      And every day I see posts that are full of misinformation/disinformation/hate/lies.
      Guess who posts that kind of stuff?

      I am not white.
      I fear, white antifa soy-bois (not a fan of Proud boy yahoos either), students who think it is okay to use violence to stop free speech, wokeism, radical teachers teaching radical ideologies in public schools, and a whole host of other Leftist crazy.

  10. NEW YORK TIMES: “Top Law Enforcement Officials Say The Biggest Domestic Terror Threat Comes From White Supremacists”

    Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas told senators on Wednesday that the greatest domestic threat facing the United States came from what they both called “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

    “Specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” Mr. Garland told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

      1. NEW YORK TIMES: “Top Law Enforcement Officials Say The Biggest Domestic Terror Threat Comes From White Supremacists”

        Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas told senators on Wednesday that the greatest domestic threat facing the United States came from what they both called “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists.”

        “Specifically those who advocate for the superiority of the white race,” Mr. Garland told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

      2. Every city in America a “ghetto” is result of 400 yrs of slavery. In 2021 racism is so institutionalized literally every agency city state federal can erase 400 yrs of white supremacists laws. The republican works daily undermining a population supporting total end to racism all Jim crow laws filibuster etc. The republican party will do anything illegal lawless to stop progress of race relations..even COUP which they tried to changing state elections laws to assure they will ALWAYS WIN nor matter how many millions more votes cast in opposition.

        1. I’m sorry you feel that way. You sound really angry. I suspect your perspective on this has been part of your family and friends for years, and it’s hard to see otherwise. I understand that…. But, truth be told, Democrats have pulled the same stunts as well, and spread their own propaganda. Politics can bring out the worst in us, –and the best in us, irrespective of party. Thank you for letting us consider your opinion.

  11. It is without equivocation that the phrase in the NY Constitution “Every citizen shall be entitled to vote…” was intended to identify those who, alone, were qualified to vote. If it were not exclusive it would be meaningless, i.e., imposing qualifications, age, upon citizens to vote but not necessary anyone else. Citizens could be required to be at least 18, but no restriction would be constitutionally required of non-citizens. The law is not meant to be absurd.

  12. ONLY CAUCASIANS came to America and committed genocide against American Indians.

    ONLY CAUCASIANS loaded up and set sail to Africa, kidnapped Africans, brought them to America and forced them to serve as CAUCASIANS’ SLAVES.


    ONLY CAUCASIANS bombed a black church killing black children.

    ONLY CAUCASIANS hung, beat, tortured, raped and pillaged black people by the hundreds and hundreds FOR DECADES AND DECADES.

    ONLY CAUCASIANS bombed black people from the air, killing hundreds of black people and destroying a black town (Greenwood) near Tulsa, Okl.

    ONLY CAUCASIANS established institutionalized racism in America.

    On September 29, 1919, in Phillips County, Arkansas, a deputy died while trying to break up a labor meeting of black farmers. The next day rumors swirled about an impending black insurrection. In response, a white mob of up to 1,000 strong formed and indiscriminately attacked blacks across the county for three days. Federal troops, requested by the governor to put down the violence, may have assisted and even taken part in the massacre. And the newspapers went along for the ride, publishing false stories about plots to massacre whites.

    In reality no uprising took place. Instead, up to 240 black Americans died at the hands of white Americans.


    “The game has changed for LGBT Republicans.

    A year ago, I had no idea what Log Cabin Republicans was or who it represented. Despite the fact that I am a gay conservative, as far as I was aware, the only nation-wide organization representing people like me was the Republican Party itself. And let’s face it…for years, the GOP wasn’t the most inclusive to LGBT conservatives.

    That all changed in the 2020 election, when I got involved with the Log Cabin Republicans, which I soon learned is the nation’s largest organization representing LGBT conservatives and their allies. Since that time, I have witnessed firsthand that the Republican Party has never been more welcoming of LGBT conservatives than it is today. Countless people like me across the country are getting involved in the Party and its future.”

    1. Oh my I was in stitches by the end. How old are you! Pukes hate gays the evangelical Christians would burn you at the stake don’t ya! know

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