voting rights haitians
Voters cast their ballots at privacy booths during early voting at the Brooklyn Museum, Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK — A bill allowing some non-citizen residents of New York City to vote in local elections became law, one month after its Dec. 9 passage by the City Council. If there are no legal challenges, the new law could allow more than 23,000 Haitians in the city to vote for elected leaders like the mayor, city council and comptroller, but not for state or federal representatives. 

“We immigrants definitely have our say on politics,” said Jude Berlus, a resident of Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood, noting the preferences that some fellow immigrants could not previously express at the ballot box.

“I would be more inclined towards integration, acculturation and work opportunities,” Berlus said, noting specific issues he cares about. 

To view the full story, please subscribe to The Haitian Times. You can choose a $60 Annual Subscription or a $5 Weekly Pass.

When you join The Haitian Times family, you’ll get unlimited digital access to high-quality journalism about Haiti and Haitians you won’t get anywhere else. We’ve been at this for 20 years and pride ourselves on representing you, our diaspora experience and a holistic view of Haiti that larger media doesn’t show you. 

Join now or renew to get:
— Instant access to one-of-kind stories and special reports 
— Local news from our communities (especially New York and Florida)
— Profiles of Haitians at the top of their fields
— Downloadable lists and resources about Haitian culture 
— Membership merch, perks and special invitations 

First-time subscribers also receive a special welcome gift handmade in Haiti by expert artisans! Do it for the culture and support Black-owned businesses.

If you’re seeing this message but you’re already a subscriber, you can log in for immediate access to this story.

Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at or on Twitter @sambojarski.