New York City recently gave green-card holders and ‘Dreamers’ (illegal immigrants who came to the US as children) the right to vote in municipal elections, yet they maintain closed primaries and first-past-the-post, disenfranchising nearly 1/3 of the city’s registered voters who chose to affiliate themselves as Republicans, Independents, or a member of a third party.
This is an obvious power-grab by liberal Democrats, hoping to sure up their support ahead of 2022, which is likely to be a red wave year
Data from Pew shows that both legal and illegal immigrants lean heavily towards the Democratic Party: 67% of Hispanic, legal, permanent residents identify with or lean towards the Democratic Party, opposed to only 14% who identify with or lean towards the GOP — and these numbers are likely to go up, considering how it’s the Democrats who gave them the right to vote.
It’s not a coincidence that New York City allows overwhelmingly Democratic demographics to vote, while refusing to pass popular, electoral reforms like open primaries and ranked-choice voting (which, to their credit, was used in the primary).
Since NYC is so blue, the primaries are often more competitive than the general election, meaning that anyone who doesn’t register as a Democrat is effectively disenfranchised, because they can’t vote in the primary and their vote won’t matter in the general election.
If NYC implemented open, non-partisan primaries: different types of Democrats, like Democratic Socialists and conservative Democrats, would begin winning elections; if they implemented ranked-choice (or approval) voting: you’d see more Republicans, Independents, and third-party candidates elected as well. That would be great for the vast majority of New Yorkers, but terrible for party elites — which is why it’s unlikely to happen.
If a candidate wins the Democratic primary with 51% of the vote, and the general election with 75% of the vote: you’re effectively disenfranchising 63% of voters. Even if you agree with NYC’s decision to let non-citizens vote, you should seek to enfranchise as many Americans as possible by implementing substantive, electoral reforms.
AP. “NYC lawmakers pass bill giving noncitizens right to vote in local elections”. CNBC, 9 Dec. 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/09/nyc-lawmakers-pass-bill-giving-noncitizens-right-to-vote-in-local-elections.html.
Ballotpedia Editors. “Mayoral election in New York, New York (2021)”. Ballotpedia, https://ballotpedia.org/Mayoral_election_in_New_York,New_York(2021).
Ballotpedia Editors. “Primary elections in New York”. Ballotpedia, https://ballotpedia.org/Primary_elections_in_New_York.
Board of Elections in the City of New York. “NYSVoter Enrollment by County, Party Affiliation and Status”. vote.nyc, 21 Feb. 2021, https://www.vote.nyc/sites/default/files/pdf/vote/2021/county_feb21.pdf.
Eileen Patten and Mark Hugo Lopez. “Are unauthorized immigrants overwhelmingly Democrats?”. Pew Research Center, 22 Jul. 2013, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/07/22/are-unauthorized-immigrants-overwhelmingly-democrats/.