A New York State Supreme Court justice has ruled that a new law allowing 800,000 noncitizens to vote in local elections in New York City was unconstitutional. The case will be appealed to the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest judicial body, but it’s a promising start.
Justice Ralph Porzio noted that the state’s constitution explicitly says only eligible citizens can vote. That can be changed, but only by a vote of the people in a referendum, a move the hyper “woke” city council didn’t dare to embrace when it passed the law allowing green-card holders and work-visa holders the vote last year. They knew noncitizen voting is unpopular — even radical San Francisco voters gave the idea only 54 percent approval in 2016.
There are few limits on how far the woke Left will go to change the rules of voting. In 2019, a majority of House Democrats voted to lower the federal voting age to 16 years, from 18.
The very notion of noncitizen voting is fraught with peril, especially in a big city such as New York. Few experts believe that, in a place where noncitizen voting is allowed, there would be effective enforcement of laws still barring illegal aliens from voting.
In 2016, New York Board of Elections commissioner Alan Schulkin, a Democrat, was videotaped at a party by Project Veritas confirming the existence of voter fraud and decrying the city’s failure to require voter ID. “Certain neighborhoods in particular, they bus people around to vote,” Schulkin said on the tape. “They put them in a bus and go poll site to poll site.” Schulkin was promptly forced to resign for speaking his mind by then-mayor Bill de Blasio.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, himself the son of Cuban immigrants, has introduced a bill to prohibit federal funding to states and localities that allow foreigners to vote. “It’s ridiculous that states are allowing foreign citizens to vote,” Rubio says. “However, if states and localities do let those who are not U.S. citizens to vote in elections, they shouldn’t get U.S. citizen taxpayer money.”
I am in favor of having people legally living in this country establish ties to the community and have a say in their governance. As Howard Husock, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, says, “the right way to bring noncitizens into the electoral process at the federal, state, and local levels is old-fashioned: encourage them to become citizens.” It’s not hard for legal residents to go that route — they must have been in the U.S. for five years, pay some fees, and pass a test, given in English, on U.S. institutions.
What is so unfair about the system we have now? The answer is that it doesn’t suit the blatantly political imperatives of the woke Left, and that is a key reason noncitizen voting must be rejected.