Vermont’s Senate has approved a measure allowing noncitizens who live in Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, the ability to vote in local elections.
“I believe if someone wishes to be able to vote they should be a citizen,” said Vermont state Sen. Brian Collamore to Fox News. “The Montpelier bill allows what is defined as a legal resident of the United States to be able to vote in city elections. … If someone is here on a permanent basis, why would he or she not want to participate in the process to become a citizen?”
Democrats in two Vermont towns are attempting to pass a measure that would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections. The Vermont House of Representatives approved these measures earlier this year.
“All resident (or non-citizen) voting in local elections has failed to make it to the floor twice before in the #VT Senate, said state Senator Kesha Ram. “Today it passed in the #Montpelier Charter on a vote of 21-9. A step forward for inclusive democracy.”
The people of the small city of Winooski approved a measure that would allow non-citizens the ability to vote in local elections. According to the city’s website, the measure allows a resident who is not a U.S citizen but is in the country under a “federally sanctioned legal category” the ability to vote in local elections, like city and school elections. This measure would not allow noncitizens to vote in state or federal races.
“Our community spoke, and spoke well — 2 1/2 to 1,” said Winooski Deputy Mayor Hal Colston, who’s also a Democrat representative in the Vermont House. “Given that we’re the most diverse city in northern New England, the time has come for this kind of legislation so that we have so many more voices in our democratic process. We’re at a loss if we don’t experience the full diversity of our communities and how we need to do things.”
“Clearly, I voted against it. I’ve got a lot of concerns,” said Republican state Rep. Rob LaClair to Fox News. “We’re all about inclusion. Let’s do it the right way. Let’s do it by the rules.”
“Our legislature is very heavily Democratic,” LaClair said. “Now these folks are going to be able to weigh in on school budgets theoretically, They could pass a school budget we’re all going to wind up having to pay for.”
“I have had conversations with him and he is certainly not in favor of it, allowing noncitizens to vote,” LaClair said, referring to Vermont’s Republican Governor Phil Scott. “He’ll probably let it pass into law but without his signature.”