WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, Jan. 11, a group of Republican voters and officials representing New York at the local and federal levels, along with the New York Republican State Committee and Republican National Committee, filed a lawsuit challenging New York City’s new noncitizen voting law. The measure, passed by the New York City Council in December, became law on Sunday after newly sworn-in Mayor Eric Adams (D) declined to veto it. The law allows legal residents, including those with green cards and Dreamers, who have lived in New York City for at least 30 consecutive days to vote in municipal elections (the law does not extend to state or federal elections). It is predicted to allow more than 800,000 noncitizens to vote in city-level elections starting in 2023. Similar laws are already on the books in Vermont and Maryland.
In the lawsuit filed yesterday, Republicans argue that this law violates both the New York Constitution and state election laws by allowing noncitizens to vote. The complaint argues that only U.S. citizens are eligible to vote under state law, alleging that the state constitution specifically “establishes the basic qualifications for voters in the State of New York and expressly connects the right to vote with citizenship.” The plaintiffs argue that allowing over 800,000 eligible noncitizens to vote in elections in New York City — which has approximately 5 million registered voters — will dilute the votes of U.S. citizens by “dramatically increasing the pool of eligible voters.” The lawsuit asks the New York Supreme Court of Richmond County to block the law and prohibit noncitizens from registering and voting.