A bill proposed by Queens Councilman Daniel Dromm would give non-citizens who have been living in New York City for longer than six months the right to vote in municipal elections. The bill, which has veto-proof support from the City Council, is opposed by Mayor Bloomberg, who has pivoted from his usual support of immigrant rights.
According to the bill, the first time a non-citizen votes, they would have to provide "copy of a valid photo ID, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or some other government document that shows your name or address." However, each subsequent time they vote, they wouldn't have to prove their address.
Non-citizen voters would have to prove that they are not on parole or in prison for a felony conviction, or that a court hasn't declared them mentally incompetent, like any other legally registered voter in the state.
Through a spokesman, the Mayor said that he believes immigrants with green cards and who are paying municipal taxes should not be able to vote until they become citizens, because they must declare "allegiance to this country before being given that right."
Or perhaps this would just drastically shift New York City's demographics towards a more progressive electorate.
"This is extremely important, because it’s based on the founding principle of this country and that was, ‘No Taxation Without Representation.’ All of the people who would be included in this and would be allowed to vote are paying taxes, they’ve contributed to society,” Councilman Dromm told TPM.
If passed, the bill would be subject to legal challenges, as many, including the mayor, believe it violates the state's constitution. Proponents of the bill believe that as a charter city (read: NYC can do what it wants, sometimes), it won't be subject to state laws.
The bill, which Dromm says won't come into effect until after this November's mayoral election, is still at the mercy of City Council Speaker Quinn, who could shelve the legislation until after she figures out her political future in November.
“I’m going to be honest with you, there are some issues that we need to work out in terms of its implementation with the Board of Elections and stuff,” Dromm said.