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Friday, January 27, 2023

Vermont Supreme Court upholds noncitizen voting

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Back in 2018, the city of Montpelier, Vermont passed an ordinance allowing noncitizens to cast votes in local and municipal elections. To make the rule look slightly less awful, they specified that the noncitizens could only vote if they were in the country legally. The city of Winooski followed suit in 2020. Democrats in the Vermont legislature approved these changes to both charters and overrode Republican Governor Phil Scott when he vetoed the measure. This led to the RNC filing two lawsuits seeking to declare noncitizen voting unconstitutional in both municipalities. The case made it all the way to the state supreme court, where it was shot down on Friday, with the justices ruling the rules complied with the state constitution. (The Federalist)

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled Friday that noncitizen residents in its capital city of Montpelier may continue to vote in municipal elections. The court argued that allowing noncitizens to vote does not violate the state Constitution because citizenship requirements only apply to federal elections.

“The statute allowing noncitizens to vote in local Montpelier elections does not violate Chapter II, § 42 because that constitutional provision does not apply to local elections,” the Supreme Court wrote…

While federal law prohibits noncitizens from voting in federal elections for races such as the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives, several jurisdictions across the country, including San Francisco and multiple towns in Maryland, allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections.

As noted, this revolting practice has been slowly spreading across blue states. It’s already taking place in cities in California and Maryland, where they would probably give illegal aliens the vote while awaiting deportation if they could.

Federal law doesn’t allow noncitizens to vote in congressional or presidential elections anywhere in the country. But sadly, the court in Vermont was probably technically correct in its decision when it comes to local and municipal elections. That doesn’t make it the right thing to do, however.

Voting is a right for those who don’t disqualify themselves. But as with all of our rights, they are only assured to those who are “born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” as noted in the introduction to the 14th Amendment. We elect the people who will pass and enforce the laws of the country that all citizens must live under. Allowing noncitizens to select the actual citizens who are responsible for those duties dilutes the system, thus lessening the power and value of each citizen’s vote.

For those who are in the country legally and wish to remain permanently, there is a legal path of naturalization open to them. Yes, it requires time, effort, and money to follow that path, but the American citizenship that is granted as a reward, in the end, is well worth it.

It doesn’t sound as if this case will be heading to the Supreme Court. And even if it did, I’m unsure if or how the Supremes would find a way to reverse this trend. But it’s disturbing all the same.

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