New York: A local court in New York has struck down a law that had allowed the non-citizens living in New York to vote in the local elections
However, the fresh ruling of the court has been challenged promptly by the republicans, terming it as an ‘unconstitutional move’.
“There is no statutory ability for the City of New York to issue inconsistent laws permitting non-citizens to vote and exceed the authority granted to it by the New York State Constitution,” the state supreme court said in the decision.
“Though voting is a right that so many citizens take for granted, the City of New York cannot ‘obviate’ the restrictions imposed by the Constitution,” it added.
A lower court judge struck down a recent law that granted the right to vote in local elections to New York City’s estimated nearly 0.8 million strong non-citizen population.
In January last, New York became the largest city in the US and voting rights were granted to the noncitizens. The law’s supporters said it gave an electoral voice to many people who have made a home in the city and pay taxes to it but face tough paths to citizenship.
New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy and several Republican elected officials said the law violated provisions in the state constitution and state election law that specifically confer voting rights on citizens.
“This is a disappointing court ruling for people who value bringing in thousands more New Yorkers into the democratic process,” the city Law Department said in a statement.
The agency had argued that the state Constitution leaves room for the city to make rules about its own elections, and that the law would help ensure that local officials are representative of the population.
Meanwhile, Alabama, Colorado and Florida have in recent years adopted rules that would preempt any attempts to pass laws like the one in New York City. Arizona and North Dakota already had prohibitions on the books.