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New York City Council Appeals to Court to Grant Voting Rights to 800,000 Foreign Nationals

via NBC News

The New York City Council is appealing rulings that blocked its ordinance granting municipal voting rights to over 800,000 non-citizen green card holders and visa/permit holders residing in the city for at least 30 days.

Lower courts ruled the ordinance violated the state constitution limiting voting to citizens.

The Council is asking the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, to override those rulings and allow implementation.

Supporters argue it would strengthen civic engagement, while critics say it would dilute the votes of citizens and shift electoral power to foreign nationals tied to global interests concentrated in New York.

“Today’s filing to appeal the Second Department’s recent decision seeks a determination from the state’s highest court that the law is consistent with the state constitution, election law, and the municipal home rule law,” New York City Council spokesperson Rendy Desamour said.

“Empowering New Yorkers to participate in our local democratic process can only strengthen New York City by increasing civic engagement. We look forward to the Court of Appeals’ consideration of the Council’s appeal,” he said.

A 2021 mayoral primary was decided by under 7,200 votes, indicating the potential for major influence on local elections.

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