Any effort to grant noncitizens the right to vote in Vermont elections — whether state or local — can be accomplished only by means of an amendment to the Vermont Constitution.
This is not the time or place to accent disagreements and end the 2021 session with veto overrides on bills that can wait for another day.
Montpelier voters considered this proposal “comprehensively” and gave their consent. The Declaration of Independence says governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” That’s what the governor just vetoed.
The Legislature plans to convene later this month and attempt to override vetoes of local measures that would allow noncitizen residents of Winooski and Montpelier to vote in local elections.
The governor returned to the Legislature two bills that would have allowed noncitizen residents of Winooski and Montpelier to cast ballots. He also signed a measure legalizing possession of buprenorphine.
Winooski’s request to allow noncitizen residents to vote in local elections won preliminary approval from the Vermont Senate on Friday.
Ivan Varela of Woodstock is an immigration justice advocate, unaffiliated with any formal immigration advocacy groups. Americans are ready for comprehensive immigration reform, but Congress is not. After the Biden administration announced legislation last week that would grant automatic green cards to DACA recipients and improve the efficiency of the naturalization process, congressional Democrats have […]
“If you live here, you should have a say in democracy, especially locally,” said Mikayla Savastano, a Winooski resident who voted in support of the measure.
Winooski voters will decide whether they want to expand voting to people who aren’t U.S. citizens. If it passes, the next step is up to the Legislature.
The Burlington City Council voted to not put noncitizen voting on the March ballot to allow more time for public engagement.
A similar measure — giving the vote to those with permanent resident status — was rejected by city voters in 2015.
As Burlington forwards a measure, the governor said the state should work for a stronger voter turnout instead.
Proponents argue that because noncitizens contribute to the city’s tax base and are affected by governmental decisions, residents regardless of citizenship status should be able to vote.
Montpelier became the first municipality in Vermont to approve noncitizen voting in November, and Brattleboro agreed to change its voting age in March.