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City Slapped With Suit After Letting Noncitizens Vote

NEWS HEADLINES: City Slapped With Suit After Letting Noncitizens Vote

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(RightWing.org) – A Democrat-run city is facing a lawsuit for allegedly violating its state’s constitution. Burlington, Vermont, allows non-citizens to vote in city elections. A conservative election safety group is arguing that this gives noncitizens control over part of the state’s budget.

In March 2023, the city of Burlington amended its city charter to allow noncitizens who are legal residents of the US to vote in all city elections, including those for the Burlington School District. Governor Phil Scott (R) vetoed the move, but the state’s Democrat-led General Assembly overrode the veto. Now, Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections (RITE) has filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing that opening voting to noncitizens is against Vermont state law.

According to RITE, allowing noncitizens to vote dilutes the votes of US citizens, and reduces their ability to control how the state uses its resources. Specifically, the Burlington School District is funded by the State Education Fund, which all Vermont taxpayers contribute to. Those taxpayers could now see votes on how to spend their money influenced by people who aren’t even US citizens.

RITE says the Vermont Supreme Court has backed their position in previous rulings. While that court hasn’t blocked noncitizen voting initiatives and has dismissed suits brought against them, it has affirmed that votes which are “traditionally the province of ‘freemen’… could not avoid the requirements of § 42” if they affect the whole state. Section 42 of the Vermont Constitution requires voters to be citizens.

While the Supreme Court has ruled that noncitizens can vote in elections that aren’t statewide, RITE is now arguing that because the school district elections affect funding from the state government they are statewide. The group wants to shut down the growing trend of noncitizen voting before it “further infects Vermont and other states in this country.”

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