The recent New York City law to allow at least 800,000 noncitizens to vote in municipal elections is unconstitutional and likely to be overturned in court, said Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Heritage Foundation’s election law reform initiative and former member of the Federal Election Commission.
“It’s actually pretty clear that it violates the New York State Constitution—it has a provision that specifically says that you have to be a citizen to vote in all elections in the state of New York, and that includes local elections,” Spakovsky told The Epoch Times on Jan. 19.
“I also think it is bad from a policy point of view, because it basically cheapens and diminishes the concept of citizenship.
“It ought to be something that makes American citizens mad, particularly because of the potential number of aliens that’s involved.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams allowed the measure to become law on Jan. 9, which includes the provision that voting noncitizens must be in the city for 30 days or more and have authorization to work.
“I believe that New Yorkers should have a say in their government, which is why I have and will continue to support this important legislation,” Adams said in a statement. “I believe allowing the legislation to be enacted is by far the best choice, and look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process.”
The following day, the Republican National Committee filed a suit in the New York Supreme Court along with City Council Minority Leader Joseph Borrelli, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), and other Republicans.
The law applies to legal aliens, but Spakovsky said New York City’s sanctuary policies that shield illegal aliens would open the floodgates.
“Does anybody really believe that the election department is going to investigate the lawful status of any alien who registers to vote?” he said.
“And so that means, of course, that lots and lots of illegal aliens will also get registered to vote.”