Battle over voting rights for noncitizen residents in NYC elections officially enters courtroom
Local Law 11, passed by the New York City Council last December, is facing a challenge in the Richmond County State Supreme Court in Staten Island. The law would allow non-citizens who are authorized to live and work in the United States to vote in New York City’s local elections, provided they have resided in the city for at least 30 days. The law would enfranchise over 800,000 additional city voters starting next year. The plaintiffs seeking to overturn the law are led by Trump-endorsed, Republican Staten Island Borough President Vito Fosella. Plaintiffs argue Local Law 11 violates the state constitution and that it would place unfair burdens on Republicans seeking to win elections. Defense teams for the New York City Council and the city and state Boards of Elections argue the state constitution allows the city to make its own decisions regarding voter eligibility. The defense is supported by nine “intervenor-defendants,” – legal city residents who would be granted voting rights under the law.