Noncitizens who reside in Vermont’s capital city Montpelier are now one step closer to being able to vote in certain local elections after the state Senate approved such a measure on Tuesday.
“I believe if someone wishes to be able to vote they should be a citizen,” Vermont state Sen. Brian Collamore told Fox News in an interview. “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 pushing for noncitizens to be allowed to vote in certain elections but must seek approval from state lawmakers first. The Vermont House of Representatives approved the changes 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. Today it passed in the #Montpelier Charter on a vote of 21-9. A step forward for inclusive democracy,” Vermont state Sen. Kesha Ram wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
Voters in the small city of Winooski, which has one of the highest concentrations of new Americans and immigrants in Vermont, have decided to allow noncitizens the right to vote in local elections.
According to the city’s website, the proposal permits a Winooski resident who isn’t a U.S. citizen but is in the country under a “federally sanctioned legal category” such as a permanent resident visa to be eligible to vote in local elections, such as city and school elections, but not state and federal races, the newspaper reported.
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