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NYC Mayor de Blasio 'Willing to Continue the Conversation' on Granting Non-Citizens Voting Rights

NYC Mayor de Blasio 'Willing to Continue the Conversation' on Granting Non-Citizens Voting Rights

Unlike his predecessor, left-wing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not commit to rejecting a bill that would allow non-citizens to vote in city elections. 

In January, City Council member Council Daniel Dromm will reportedly introduce legislation that would grant non-citizens voting rights in local elections, hoping that the bill will have a better chance of passing now that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who opposed the bill, is no longer in office. 

“The legislation I’ve seen so far, I think, has a number of challenges and issues that have to be addressed, so I was not comfortable with the version of the legislation that I saw [in 2013],” de Blasio reportedly said on Friday, when asked about the potential bill. But he added that he was “certainly willing to continue the conversation.”

According to the New York Post, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito “said she supports the voting legislation” that had “languished for nearly three years in the council before being shelved amid strong opposition from” Bloomberg. 

If the bill passes and is signed into law, more than one million non-citizens may be allowed to vote in local elections.

A recent study by two Old Dominion professors found that enough non-citizens already vote in state elections across the country to “change the outcome of close races.” They found that “more than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote” and, their “best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.” 

The study concluded that non-citizen votes could have elected Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in 2008 and provided candidate Barack Obama with his margin of victory in North Carolina in 2008.  

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