N.Y. City to give immigrants voting rights

New York City will begin implementing a bill that will expand voting rights to 800,000 foreign-born New Yorkers who are not citizens.

The bill requires that the city register any immigrant resident over 18 who was present in the US when they arrived. The proposal is designed to extend voting rights to people who have been in the country for at least five years and are at least 21 years old.

After the city passed a similar bill in 2005, 96% of the new registrants voted, according to the New York Times.

“New York City is ground zero in this voting-rights campaign because we’ve been a pioneer in creating community outreach and understanding of who the city’s residents are,” said Kathryn Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City, in a statement.

The bill is to be formally introduced during a City Council meeting on Wednesday. Then, it will require approval from the state and local legislatures, as well as referendums from the voters in New York City.

In a statement to NBC News, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Elections said, “New York City’s new voter registration bill is an innovative approach that expands the democratic process without duplicating existing measures and will provide voters with a necessary tool to determine their eligibility.”

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