Incoming New York Mayor Eric Adams has allowed a bill giving the vote to non-citizens to become law automatically. That’s after the City Council passed it last month.
Non-citizen New Yorkers who have lived in the city for at least a month may legally vote in city elections as of next year, according to a bill which became law through the mayor’s inaction on Sunday. Adams, while expressing reservations with certain aspects of the bill, did not choose to veto or otherwise challenge it, allowing the City Council’s passage of the legislation to stand after what he called “productive dialogue” with others in city government.
While there are more than a dozen communities in the US that allow non-citizens to vote, New York – with more than 800,000 non-citizens calling the city (at least a temporary) home – is by far the most populous to pass such a measure. Eleven towns in Maryland and two in Vermont have done the same, but their populations amount to only a fraction of the country’s largest urban area.
Legally-documented voting-age non-citizens reportedly make up one in nine of New York’s 7 million adult residents. If the new law goes unchallenged, non-citizens who have been lawful permanent residents of New York for at least 30 days, as well as those with US work authorization and ‘Dreamers’, will be allowed to vote in elections for the city’s mayor, borough presidents, comptroller, public advocate, and city council members. They will not be allowed to vote in national or state elections.