The Republican National Committee (RNC) filed the suit in New York Supreme Court along with City Council Minority Leader Joseph Borrelli, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), and other Republicans.
Plaintiffs say a new bill that was passed by the Democrat-controlled City Council and allowed to become a law by Adams, a Democrat who took office on Jan. 1, violates the state Constitution and election law.
The bill, if allowed to take effect, would let about 800,000 noncitizens such as illegal immigrants who arrived in the United States as children vote in local elections.
New York law says that “No person shall be qualified to register for and vote at any election unless he is a citizen of the United States” and the New York Constitution says that voters must be citizens.
That’s two reasons the new bill is illegal, the suit states.
“By dramatically increasing the pool of eligible voters, the Non-Citizen Voting Law will dilute the votes of United States citizens, including the Plaintiffs in this action,” it says.
“American elections should be decided by American citizens. If Democrats can subvert elections this flagrantly in America’s largest city, they can do it anywhere. The RNC is suing to protect the integrity of our elections, and we stand ready to do the same wherever Democrats try to attack the basic security of your ballot,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
Plaintiffs are asking the court to declare the bill as violative of the state Constitution and election law and permanently prohibit defendants from registering noncitizens to vote and from counting votes cast by noncitizens.
A City Council spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email: “The bill was passed by a majority of the City Council, the city’s duly elected legislative body that represents all New Yorkers. In accordance with city statute, the legislation has become city law.”
Adams and the Board of Elections did not respond to requests for comment.
Adams defended the bill in a brief statement over the weekend, saying his earlier concerns about provisions in the bill had been alleviated in talks with local lawmakers.
“I believe allowing the legislation to be enacted is by far the best choice, and look forward to bringing millions more into the democratic process,” he said.
The City Council passed the bill 33–14 last month.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin, a Democrat, told colleagues before the vote that many noncitizens struggle to become citizens but should still be able to vote in the meanwhile because they pay taxes and live and work in the city.
“They want to be citizens, they want to be able to vote for the president, but at least we have the opportunity to allow them to vote for the elected officials that are representing them in the city,” said Chin, who voted for the measure.
Borrelli, who voted against it, noted the state Constitution’s definition of a voter was approved in 1938 and affirmed multiple times since.
“This is not legal, what we are doing,” he said.