A Statement from SI Borough President Vito Fossella Concerning Non-Citizen Municipal Voting in NYC
"In light of non-citizen voting now becoming law, I have filed a lawsuit today in New York State Supreme Court, Richmond County, seeking to declare that the law violates the New York State Constitution.
More specifically, the new law violates Article II, Section 1 of the New York State Constitution which clearly states the three necessary “qualifications of voters.” These include citizenship, to be at least 18 years of age, and to have residency in the state for at least 30 days.
As the lead plaintiff of this lawsuit, I seek to prohibit the Board of Elections from implementing the new law. The new law will require the creation of two different ballots for municipal races to prevent non-citizen voters from participating in federal and state elections, which in reality, opens the door for error. Potentially adding 800,000 new non-citizen voters to a system that has been made more complex by rank choice voting will increase concerns over fraud, and undermine faith in the system while diluting the voice of our citizens in selecting their local leaders.
One of the great privileges of being a United States citizen is the right to vote. To extend that right to non-citizens is unconstitutional and simultaneously dilutes the votes of and devalues what it means to be a citizen of New York State.
While the provisions of the new law would first be implemented in the 2023 elections, the time is now to protect the rights of all New York citizens, including those Staten Islanders who elected me to be their Borough President."
Comments are closed.
Please contact the Department of Communications: