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NYC council proposes giving non-citizens the right to vote


New York City

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(NaturalNews) If liberals on the New York City Council get their way, the privileged right to vote will no longer be limited only to actual citizens of the United States. They will be extended to anyone who can walk, crawl, or be dragged to a voting booth in the Big Apple, regardless of where they hail from.

As reported by Britain's Guardian newspaper, since New York City is such a "global hub," it only makes sense (to a liberal) that citizens of the world be given the right to exert political force (of which voting is a form) there, since the megatropolis caters to the world's population.

Currently, the NYC Council is drafting legislation that would give all legal residents, no matter their citizenship status, the right to vote, but only in city elections. If it eventually makes it way into New York City's legal code, "it would mark major victory for a voting rights campaign that seeks to enfranchise non-citizen voters in local elections across the country," the paper said.

At present, some U.S. towns allow non-citizens to vote in local elections - and all politics, after all, are local - but NYC would become the largest jurisdiction if the measure passes.

"No taxation without representation"

The paper further noted in its online edition:

Under the likely terms of the legislation, legally documented residents who have lived in New York City for at least six months will be able to vote in municipal elections. Reports suggest that the city council is discussing the legislation with Mayor Bill de Blasio's office, and that a bill might be introduced as soon as this spring.

There is no question that New York City is a one-party town; Democrats have long dominated local politics in the Big Apple. And it's not just Leftist politics; the town is hard-Left; De Blasio himself may be aligned with the Democrat Party, but he himself has admitted he is a fan of democratic socialism.

Be that as it may, and be it that it stands to reason most citizens of NYC must also be hard Left-leaning, the Guardian noted that giving foreign citizens a say in their city might not actually be that well-received:

Many Americans find the idea of non-citizen voting entirely unpalatable and fear that it undermines the sanctity and privilege of citizenship.

Advocates for non-citizen voting in New York City argue that it would right a glaring wrong. Invoking the ancient American battle cry of "no taxation without representation," they point to the enormous numbers of non-citizen residents who pay taxes, send their children to public schools, are active members of their communities, but have no say in local elections.


So, the benefits of being able to remain in the United States - with its stable economy and stable government - aren't enough? And isn't paying taxes part of the price of admission to a country that provides opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else? Apparently not for the hard Left.

"People are New Yorkers in profound ways without being citizens of the U.S.," Ronald Hayduk, a professor of political science at Queens College and a member of the Coalition to Expand Voting Rights, told the Guardian.

The Constitution is not clear on who gets to decide who gets to vote

According to the paper, there are about 1.3 million residents of New York City over the age of 18 that are not American citizens, or 21 percent of the voting age population. Adjusting for the number of illegal aliens in NYC, that would mean, under the new voting legislation, that about 1 million more people would be able to cast ballots.

Some boroughs of New York City are more than heavily populated with non-citizens than others. In Queens, non-citizens make up more than half the population in areas like Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and Corona.

"It's very different in New York than in middle America," Jerry Vattamala, a staff attorney at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, told the paper.

But can cities and states decide who gets to vote? Can they decide, on their own, to allow non-citizens a say in state and local elections?

It's really not clear, according to Lyle Denniston, writing at the Constitution Center:

One of the gestures toward states' rights that the Founders made in writing the Constitution was to give the states a primary role in deciding who gets to vote - not only in state and local elections, but also in federal elections. But, to protect national interests of the new government they were setting up, the Founders also gave Congress a veto power in this area. It has never been quite clear how the two provisions were supposed to work together, instead of in conflict, and that is at the heart of a new controversy over who controls the right to vote.

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com

http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=2592

http://blog.constitutioncenter.org

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