New York City could soon become the first major city to allow non-citizens to vote in its municipal elections, as city council hearings on the proposal begin today.
According to Talking Points Memo, the proposal appears to have a veto-proof majority in the Council — enough to overcome opposition by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“It’s going to be huge and just imagine the implications that are involved here,” Councilman Daniel Dromm, one of the co-sponsors of “Voting By Non-Citizen Residents,” told TPM Wednesday.
The proposal would allow immigrants lawfully residing in the city for six months or longer to vote provided they meet all the other current requirements for voter registration in New York State, TPM reports. The bill specifies that they are not permitted to vote in state or federal elections.
“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,” Mr. Dromm added.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposes the legislation, but TPM points out that it may not be enough. It currently has the support of 34 of the Council’s 51 members, exactly the amount needed to override a veto.
“I’m optimistic both with the committee and on the floor and I would hope that we could pass this by the end of the year,” Mr. Dromm said.