On Thursday, the Democratic legislature in Vermont successfully voted to override Gov. Phil Scott’s (R-VT) veto of a bill would allow legal noncitizens to vote in municipal elections of the capital city of Montpelier and in Winooski, according to Fox News. Such noncitizens will also be allowed to run for local office.
The Vermont Senate voted 20-10 to override, which was exactly the two-thirds needed.
The Democratic President Pro Tem Becca Balint framed the issue a a matter of being able to relegate local elections. “Today’s veto override votes continue Vermont’s track record supporting strong citizen engagement, and uphold the tradition of local control in our towns and cities,” Balint said in a Thursday statement.
Republican National Committeeman for Vermont Jay Shepard told Fox News that the move “takes away a major incentive for new Americans to become citizens.” He also express concerns of there being “no safeguards in determining who is now eligible to vote.”
“It appears that once again the Vermont elected Democrats show a complete disregard to what it means to be a citizen,” he also said. “Their vote to override the Governor’s veto disenfranchises those in Vermont who are citizens.”
Noncitizens are also permitted to vote in local elections in nine municipalities in Maryland, as well as in San Francisco, California. According to Ballotpedia, the Arizona and South Dakota state constituents have specified that noncitizens may not vote in their state and local elections.
Federal law prohibiting noncitizens from voting in federal elections does not address state and local elections.
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