Bipartisan legislation: New York is readying voting rights for American citizens who are in the country illegally

New York State today announced that a number of necessary and welcome steps toward equal representation will be taken to grant American citizens in the country illegally the right to vote in local elections. This historic legislation is an important step toward restoring the right to vote to those who are American citizens in every respect but legally required to remain in this country, and it provides no benefits to those who are not.

A number of provisions will be included in New York State’s 2019-20 budget which the Governor has indicated he will sign into law:

Expanded domestic partnership registration would allow any American citizen who is lawfully present in New York State to register as a domestic partner to vote.

That domestic partnership registration would be extended to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender American citizens, as well as any American citizen who is legally domiciled in New York State.

The current registration process would include:

An affirmative request to the Board of Elections to increase the number of eligible partners for whom a form is available;

A county clerk’s office petition signed by the registered partner stating the name of the registered domestic partner and the date of birth for each;

An oath of faith affirming that a partner is lawfully present in New York State, to receive the right to vote;

That a county clerk’s office would create a special voter-registration card listing the address of each domestic partner and a signature authorization form.

A requirement that the voter-registration cards include endorsements from two local political parties, reaffirming the individual’s residency in New York State and acknowledging that the registered domestic partner is eligible to vote.

Both the Domestic Partnership Registration and voter-registration card provisions will take effect for the general election in November 2019.

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