Vermont’s largest city has voted to allow non-citizens who are legally resident in the country to vote in local elections.
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The proposed charter amendment for Burlington must now be considered by the legislature and the Republican governor.
Burlington, Vermont, has voted to grant non-U.S. citizens the right to vote in local elections.
Burlington would be the third city in the state to make the change. Non-citizen residents are currently allowed to vote in municipal elections in Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, and Winooski, the most diverse community in the state.
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The Republican National Committee had filed lawsuits against the two cities asking judges to declare non-citizen voting unconstitutional and lost those challenges. Federal law prohibits non-citizens from voting in federal elections, including races for president, vice president, senate or house of representatives.
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In January, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that such voting in local elections in Montpelier does not violate the state constitution. A new complaint was filed in court Thursday against the town of Winooski by two residents, the Republican Party of Vermont and the Republican National Committee, who say it is unconstitutional to allow non-citizens to vote on matters involving the school board and the education budget of Vermont. involved in the city.