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RNC files lawsuit over noncitizen voting rights in Vermont’s largest city

Burlington, the largest city in Vermont, was sued by the Republican National Committee over its decision to allow noncitizens to vote in certain municipal elections.

The Republican National Committee launched a lawsuit this week seeking to ensure only citizens can vote in Burlington, Vermont, elections.

Residents of Burlington, the Green Mountain State’s largest city, approved the charter change in March 2023 that permits noncitizens to vote in municipal elections.

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott later vetoed state approval of the measure, but was overridden by the legislature.


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The RNC said such elections influence Vermont’s education budget, which contradicts the state constitution’s requirement that only citizens can vote on matters affecting the state.

“Americans should decide American elections,” RNC Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital.

“Democrats’ persistent efforts to enable noncitizen voting dilute the voices of Americans in Vermont and across the country,” he said.

In comments to Fox News, an RNC spokesperson added that Democrats’ “persistent efforts” to let noncitizens vote is “alarming.”

“Combined with their catastrophic border crisis, noncitizens’ voting prioritizes illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens and jeopardizes our elections,” the spokesperson said.

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While noncitizen suffrage remains illegal in federal-level elections, Burlington is not alone in permitting such.

In the Burlington suburb of Winooski, 11 people took advantage of the town’s “all-resident” voting policy, according to NPR.

Bordering Washington, D.C., the city of Takoma Park, Maryland, recently celebrated 30 years of being the first municipality in the nation where noncitizens are permitted to vote. 

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A 2023 city statement on the matter said 20% of the approximately 350 noncitizens there cast ballots in the 2017 off-year elections.

Takoma Park’s 1992 policy change was notably spearheaded by resident and then-American University law professor Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md. 

It requires identification and proof of residency, according to a city statement.

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Washington, D.C., itself also allows noncitizen voting in municipal races.

In February, a New York State appeals court overturned New York City’s noncitizen suffrage provisions, while several states in the heartland banned the practice in the early 1900s.

In 2020, Florida and Alabama voters overwhelmingly approved state constitutional amendments by-referendum, declaring only citizens can vote within those states.

Politically, Burlington is otherwise best known as the city where high-profile Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., started his political career. The self-described “democratic socialist” served as the city’s mayor from 1981 to 1989.

Fox News Digital reached out to the city of Burlington for comment. A person who answered the phone at city hall directed Fox News Digital to a communications official who did not respond.

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