It would enfranchise people who are in the country legally, but aren’t citizens. Advocates estimate that could be more than 800,000 people. The proposal was discussed at a City Council hearing Thursday.
Many U.S. states once let non-citizens vote, though policies changed by the 1930s. Some Maryland cities now allow it in their local elections.
Supporters see immigrant voting as a matter of taxpayer fairness and civic engagement. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other opponents say voting should be reserved for citizens and represents a goal for newcomers.
Advocates and the mayor’s office dispute whether the City Council has the authority to allow non-citizens to vote in the city.