New York’s Noncitizen Voting Is Illegal

Source: The Wall Street Journal.

WSJ’s editorial board provides a short, but avowedly incomplete, list of reasons why New York City’s noncitizen voting law is illegal. I am struck with mild astonishment that any jurisdiction anywhere (in the world) would pass a law that allows noncitizens to vote. Surely it is common sense that citizenship inherently is a prerequisite for having the right to vote.

It is perhaps useful here to make a distinction between natural rights and civil rights. Natural rights are those you are born with. No government can give them to you, because they exist whether governments recognize them or not.

Civil rights are natural rights that governments recognize. The difference is that you are not born with civil rights. They exist only as the result of government discretion.

The right to vote in elections is a civil right. One may have a natural right to support or oppose the government under which one lives and operates, but one cannot have the civil right to vote unless the government allows it.

Or so it seems to me, imperfectly.

13 thoughts on “New York’s Noncitizen Voting Is Illegal

  1. I think that citizenship indicates a certain irrevocable stake in a nation and should be a requirement for voting.

    That being said, local jurisdiction elections are closer to home of the pocketbooks of residents, citizen and non-citizen alike. In many ways, there is a similarity to Home Owners Associations in which the primary requirement for voting on relevant issues is home ownership.

    Still, in my opinion, citizenship is a clear cut line that need not be blurred by probable endless litigation over what constitutes eligibility outside of that status.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coming from the land of Mardi Gras and it’s crime, health, education levels, etc., I find you comment interesting.

      NY State had one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation…and that includes the largest Democratic run city, which crime rate was not even in the top 10.

      Bruen might change that to the apparent delight of red states awash in violence.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Land of Mardi Gras? There you have a point

        Outside of greater New Orleans. LA is one of the most peaceful states in the nation.

        The same if largely true of NY outside of NYC and Buffalo


    2. RE: “No matter how thoroughly experience shows them to be wrong, they dig in their heels to keep doing the same things and expecting different results.”

      I sometimes think of that process as the triumph of idealism over practicality. Noncitizen voting has no basis in law, but NY implemented it anyway.

      Same with Bruen. SCOTUS says to NY, “You can’t legally (under the Constitution) have gun control in the form you have created,” but NY responds, “Gun control is so impoartant, we’ll find a way to keep it.”

      It is not just the insanity of repeating the same failures over and over again, but the insanity of assuming that laws have no connection to reality.


          1. Calling a spade a spade is not idealism. It is telling the truth that you and so many on the right refuse to acknowledge.

            You see no problem with radical justices so long as they are YOUR radical judges. If a judge doesn’t agree with you they are automatically radicals.

            State’s rights used to be a rallying cry on the right. Except when the state in question is Democratically run; then it is a “failure” in the tiny little minds of so-called conservatives.


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