Paterson, Without Spitzer Administration, Praises Non-Citizen Voting

Michael Bloomberg got a laugh today by suggesting to organizers of the West Indian Parade that he’s the only one in his administration who can legitimately lay claim to being a West Indian, considering all the time he spends in Bermuda.

But it was David Paterson who made news by seeming to advocate non-citizen voting. He said that 22 states used to allow voting for non-citizen permanent residents, but none do now. America “used to be a land of opportunity,” Paterson said, and he hoped it would be again.

When I asked him about the comments later, Paterson said, “I never spoke to anyone in the administration about it.” Paterson said he brought up the fact that 22 states used to allow legal permanent residents to vote “as an historical fact.” I asked whether this was something that could be changed in Albany. “I tried it fifteen years ago,” he said, “and nobody was interested.”

UPDATE: When asked about Paterson’s remarks, Spitzer spokeswoman Christine Anderson said, “This is not something under consideration” and that it was not a policy statement.