New York City could soon be the first in the country to allow immigrants the right to vote in local elections. So far the proposal appears to have a veto-proof majority in the New York City Council and supporters are optimistic it will become law by the end of the year. The motion would enfranchise hundreds of thousands of NY immigrants provided they meet all the current requirements for voter registration in New York State. Specifically, this means they must “not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction” and “not be declared mentally incompetent by a court.”
First time voters will also have to provide ID, including: “copy of a valid photo ID and a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or some other government document that shows your name or address.”
In the past, a large majority of U.S. states let noncitizens vote, but the policies were changed some time in the 1930’s. Despite that, there are several cities in Maryland that now allow it, and the idea to follow in their footsteps has been in talks in New York’s City Council for years.
“When all contributing members of our society can participate, democracy is better served and everyone benefits,” said the bill’s sponsor, Councilman Daniel Dromm.
Opponents of the bill insist that voting should be reserved for citizens, and one person in particular who doesn’t believe in going forward with the motion is Mayor Bloomberg.
Full Article: NY’s Non-Citizens May Soon Be Permitted to Vote.