National and state GOP sue Montpelier and Winooski over noncitizen voting rights

Updated: 3 days ago

by Jack Lyons, VTDigger, September 28, 2021

The national and state branches of the Republican Party are suing two Vermont cities for allowing residents without American citizenship to vote in municipal elections.

The Republican National Committee and the Vermont Republican Party filed the complaints Monday against the cities of Winooski and Montpelier in Vermont Superior Court. Voters in both cities amended their charters — Montpelier did so in 2018, Winooski last year — to give noncitizens a vote in local elections.

...Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, D-Chittenden, who brought the Winooski amendment before the Vermont Senate for approval, said she believes there is adequate legal standing for noncitizen voting on the local level.

“It seems like the Republican Party heralds local control until the community has decided what is best for its future,” Ram Hinsdale said in an interview.

Additionally, refugees must live in the U.S. for at least five years before they’re allowed to apply for citizenship, Ram Hinsdale said.

“That’s a long time to have kids in school and pay local taxes without being able to be a part of local decision-making,” Ram Hinsdale said.

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