Statements From Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz

Modified: June 21, 2019 10:10am

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Date: 
6/21/19

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has been asked to comment on whether non-United States citizens should vote in our elections. His official comment in regards to that question is below:

“As Congressman John Lewis stated, ‘[t]he right to vote is precious, almost sacred.’ As such, the right to vote should never be extended to a non-citizen; only American citizens should vote in any election in this country. That includes not just undocumented immigrants, but green card holders, people with work or student visas, and every other non-citizen legally admitted into this country. I firmly believe only citizens should vote in our elections, and we should also take appropriate actions to ensure there is no foreign interference into our elections, including preventing the hacking of our elections by foreign powers.”

Additionally, the county executive has been asked to comment on whether the County Attorney’s Office should commence a lawsuit on behalf of Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns to determine the constitutionality of the recently passed New York State Green Light bill. After consultation with Erie County Attorney Michael Siragusa, County Executive Poloncarz has directed the County Attorney’s Office to file for a declaratory action on behalf of Clerk Kearns in federal court to determine the constitutionality of the Green Light bill.

If a federal judge determines the bill to be constitutional, the county executive expects all county officials and employees to respect the decision of the court.

The County Attorney’s Office has informed the county executive a declaratory action can be filed and in all likelihood a decision rendered prior to the Green Light bill taking effect.