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Election-Integrity Advocates Sound Alarm as Noncitizen Voting Spreads to Vermont’s Largest City

Posted on Friday, June 21, 2024
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Vermont’s largest city is allowing noncitizens to vote in elections with statewide implications in violation of the state’s constitution, according to a lawsuit filed this week by two Burlington citizens who say their votes are being illegally diluted by foreigners.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday and backed by the Republican National Committee and the nonprofit Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections, or RITE, is the latest effort from the Right to slow the spread of noncitizen voting in the Democrat-heavy towns and cities.

It comes while prominent personalities, including former president Donald Trump and Elon Musk, continue to warn that Democrats are “importing voters”— a charge that mainstream-media outlets and election officials say is overblown and a conspiracy theory aimed at sowing distrust ahead of the 2024 election.

Noncitizens are not allowed to vote in state or national elections, and there is little evidence that they do so illegally in large numbers. But over the last decade, more than a dozen towns and cities in blue states have opened the door to noncitizen voting in some local elections.

Proponents of noncitizen voting say that noncitizens who are legal residents have an interest in how their communities are run and should be allowed to vote in local elections.

But Derek Lyons, the president of RITE, said the noncitizen voting movement is aimed at weakening the notion of citizenship.

“This is an effort, ultimately, to normalize the practice whereby we extend that right to vote to anybody who claims an interest in that vote, and thereby undermining and diluting the say and power of citizens,” he said in an interview with National Review.

The lawsuit against the city of Burlington is narrowly aimed at noncitizen voting in school board and budget elections. The RNC and RITE say those elections have implications for taxpayers across Vermont, where almost all school funding comes from the state.

“We won’t be challenging the election of the dog catcher in Burlington,” said Brady Toensing, one of the lawyers behind the lawsuit.

The lawsuit stems from a change to the Burlington charter, which voters approved in March 2023, allowing noncitizens who are legal residents of the city to vote in municipal elections, including school-district elections. Vermont’s General Assembly approved the amendment, and then overrode a veto from governor Phil Scott, a Republican.

Burlington was the third Vermont city to approve noncitizen voting, behind Montpelier in 2018 and Winooski in 2020. The RNC filed legal challenges in those cases as well.

The Vermont constitution establishes citizenship as a requirement for voting on “freemen” issues, which include “any matter that concerns” the state, according to the lawsuit against Burlington.

In a January ruling in the Montpelier challenge, the Vermont Supreme Court held that the state constitution doesn’t bar noncitizens from voting in purely local elections where there is no statewide concern. However, the court noted that a “vote municipal in name, but traditionally the province of ‘freemen’ in substance, could not avoid the [citizenship] requirement.”

The plaintiffs targeting noncitizen voting in Burlington contend that school budget issues present something of a hybrid situation — the local school boards craft the budget, which is approved by local voters but is then mostly paid by state tax dollars. That means that votes by noncitizens could have implications for taxpayers throughout Vermont.

“Therefore,” Lyons said, “their pocket is going to be affected, their taxes, which is to say their property, will be affected by what the people of Burlington, including now non-citizens, do. So, it becomes a statewide issue.”

And those school budgets are costly. The General Assembly recently approved a 14 percent property-tax increase, and overrode a Scott veto, due largely to ballooning school costs.

“These school budget votes, and the school board votes, which put together the school budgets, because they’re paid for out of state funds by operation of law, that’s a freeman issue and that’s subject to the constitution,” Toensing said.

Ben Traverse, the president of Burlington’s city council, said in an email that he’s concerned about “outside special interest groups, backed by dark money, trying to drive policy changes through our courts.”

He also defended the city’s voting measures, saying that allowing noncitizens to vote in their local elections doesn’t violate the constitution.

“Burlington voters overwhelmingly supported all legal residents having the opportunity to vote in our local elections,” he wrote. “These residents drive the same roads, walk the same sidewalks, drink the same water, use the same parks, and send their kids to the same schools as their citizen neighbors, and Burlingtonians felt they deserved the opportunity [to] weigh-in on the future of our community.”

Lyons said that just because noncitizens have an interest in how the city is run, that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to vote. Children, people who are mentally incapacitated, and Burlington property owners and business owners who reside outside the city have an interest in the city’s operations as well, but they can’t vote in the local elections.

“For a country that is founded on a principle of self-government, the question is, what is the self that is doing the governing? That self is citizens and not foreigners,” he said.

While Trump, Musk, and others have expressed concerns about noncitizens voting in federal elections, the Burlington lawsuit does not address that. In April, a Cato Institute fellow called those broader concerns “bogus.”

Local elections in Burlington are typically held in March, while federal elections are in November.  Lyons said he’s not aware of any issues in Vermont of noncitizen voting “bleeding over into elections where it shouldn’t be happening.” But he suggested that normalizing noncitizen voting locally could lead to efforts down the road to expand it.

In addition to the three Vermont cities, San Francisco and Oakland allow noncitizens to vote in school board elections, and Washington D.C. and eleven cities and towns in Maryland allow them to vote in some municipal elections.

In February, a New York state appeals court ruled that a law allowing noncitizens in New York City to vote in local elections was unconstitutional.

Ryan Mills is an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons. @ryanamills77

Reprinted with Permission from The National Review – By Ryan Mills

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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PaulE
PaulE
1 month ago

Democrats, America’s Socialist / Marxist party, are playing a multi-faceted war game against the constitutional integrity of the United States. They have been for several decades with increasingly more open and obvious actions. Hitting from all sides in a highly coordinated manner designed to allow them to seize unilateral control of the federal government and eventually all state governments forever. To date, it is crystal clear that the Dems control the entire Executive Branch, half of Congress and more than half of the Judicial Branch. Just my assessment of where we stand today in real terms.

So far, aside from documenting the various illegal and unconstitutional actions the Democrats are using to achieve their eventual goals, our side seems to be doing little to effectively counter any of these actions in a meaningful way on a long-term basis. Both Reagan and Trump stood up and pushed back, but Reagan’s actions were undercut by his successor Bush, who never believed in anything Reagan was trying to accomplish as a globalist, and Trump was constantly obstructed by not only the Democrats in Congress but also the RINO wing of Congress that wanted to preserve the status quo. The American public essentially acted largely as bystanders for the last 50 years. Today we continue to fight using Robert’s rules of order, while the Democrats aren’t abiding by any rules other than “by any means necessary and whatever it takes to win”. Yet for some reason we continue to wonder why the Democrats are able to continue advancing their agenda and no one seems to be able to stop them. When only one side is fighting for the future of a country, it really isn’t hard to see how we’ve ended up where we are today. Should President Trump manage to get back into the White House, he will need the half of the country that still wants a constitutional representative republic behind him applying pressure to those that will seek to stop his every corrective action. Being a citizen of a country is more than just showing up to vote every 2 or 4 years.

Nick
Nick
1 month ago

What do you expect from Vermont? They gave us Bernie Sanders. A boil on the ass of humanity. He has never had a job and as a socialist he’s become a multi-millionaire how about that. Notice he quit ranking on the Millionaires and billionaires now he just takes on the billionaires cuz he is a millionaire. I’d like take that bony finger he keeps shaking in my face and shove it up Chuck Summers ass.

Sam
Sam
1 month ago

This is downright criminal and all votes coming from any states allowing illegals to vote should be discounted.

Rob citizenship
Rob citizenship
1 month ago

A good term for non- citizen voting would be Election Racketeering – I do believe it is an accurate description of what is going on. The organization Restoring Integrity and Trust in Elections ( RITE ) sounds like a good move in the right direction. Just now learned about it from this article. So, I will leave it at that for this comment. Well done with this article Ryan Mills – writing like this will help to defend this Constitutional Republic – the United States of America, the land of the free and the home of the brave .May God bless this Nation

LMB
LMB
1 month ago

NONCITIZENS CAN NOT VOTE PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 month ago

Dictator Beijing biden and his Communist Party are Illegally and Unconstitutionally committing Election Fraud and Election Interference with having Illegal Aliens who are Criminals in the USA Illegally to Vote. What part of Illegal Aliens here Illegally do they not understand?
The Communist liberal judges violate both President Trumps and our 1st Amendment Rights to hear him with their Illegal and Unconstitutional gag orders to keep him from speaking the Truth. Yet, Dictator Beijing biden gives his Illegal Alien Terrorist Invasion to run amok with our Tax Dollars and scattered all over the country committing crimes and murders with no consequences while draining our resources and Food Supply.

Joearcher
Joearcher
1 month ago

I would love to see Congress pass a law stating that “Any city, county, or state that allows, or does not stop, non-citizen (Illegal alien) voting in ANY election shall have ALL their votes disqualified until a legal election is held. Any non-citizen attempting to vote shall be arrested and deported.” IDK if it can be done, but SOMETHING has to be done to stop voter fraud.
People, we need to become Poll Watchers. We have to STOP this election stealing by Demoncrats!

Juan Dominguez
Juan Dominguez
1 month ago

Only US residents born in the United States and those that have chosen the appropriate and legal path to citizenship should be ALLOWED TO VOTE. Otherwise, you are essentially diluting the vote of those that are here legally, paid for and fought for their right to become US citizens.

Granny
Granny
1 month ago

We’ve expected and known this was going to happen for months / years. Why are we sounding an alarm now; it’s a tad bit late, dontchathink?

Sal
Sal
1 month ago

And so begins the end of the USA. Disgusting, evil, and for what???? $$$???

Thinking
Thinking
1 month ago

Anyone here illegally should not ever be allowed to vote. It takes away the incentive to come here legally. Under Obiden 15 million people have come into this country. Enough to take over the state of Wyoming or Colorado and with their vote affect how America is run. When one moves to another country that does not give them any more rights than the citizens who are there. That kind of reasoning makes for any country move a bunch of people to a certain country to take over that country. This is what is going on here under Obiden. He wants invaders to take over America. That way they keep the power. America is the only country in the world to walk into and be welcomed with open arms. Nothing is expected of them. No responsibilities, they only take and demand. If they want to have a say come here legally. Live here the required 5 years, be a model citizen, learn the language, no more taking the citizenship test with an interpreter. Most countries have a 10 year requirement before you can apply for citizenship. When they become contributing members of society and have shown to be upstanding people only then should citizenship be granted. Not come one and all and do what feels good, rob and steal, beat up people and rape our children or murder our women. Legal residents with green cards have undergone a background check before they were granted a visa. And then again after 5 years of living in this country. And Vermont says they have no representation so they should be able to vote. No they haven’t earned representation. They are residents. They already have great benefits by living in this country with all the freedoms and opportunities and benefits. Some responsibility should be on them to acclimate and learn our laws and obey our laws. Not by demanding it. No country in the world would let you stay if you had put forth the demands these invaders are demanding here in America.

Bernard
Bernard
1 month ago

Illegals: no stakeholders in anything; no loyalty; no education; no sympathy towards self-determination; no understanding of a Constitutional Republic; voter drones; acting outside of the law, no matter what these cities and towns say or do; they cannot unilaterally change the Constitution or their state’s Constitutions. These are part and parcel of the Marxists who want to spread one party rule to every state so that government no longer becomes one of free choice, but one of fiat and command. The Bill of Rights will go down the drain. The only proper response to preserve our rights under these obvious conditions is a revolution to restore our original Constitution and to eliminate the administrative state in every jurisdiction and throughout the country. Otherwise, we are well headed down the Road To Serfdom.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

Unbelievable. That’s all I can think of saying… unfreakingly unbelievable.

Wayne Peterkin
Wayne Peterkin
1 month ago

Every single American should be extremely concerned about Election Integrity. No nation dependent on democratic elections, as our is, can survive if elections are not accepted by the general public as an honest representation of the citizens of the country. We have had issues for many years, such as a few dead people voting, but they have grown exponentially worse. The 2020 election was the worst in my 80 years for sure. Mail-in ballots that could not be audited as cast by the one and only registered voter it was sent to, ballot harvesting with partisans collecting ballots that may be manipulated, unsecured ballot drop boxes showing up late and being included, along with a lack of voter IDs in many places and non-citizens being registered and allowed to vote. And that doesn’t mention some questionable voting machines. This election is already being tampered with to allow even more questionable ballots. Why does one party refuse every attempt to ensure an honest ballot? That’s a rhetorical question. Was the 2020 election stolen? I can’t say, but I can say that our nation is damaged badly that it can even be questioned, and it was very questionable. Election Integrity is truly existential issue for our country. We MUST ensure honest elections or the entire American experiment fails – and the Democrats oppose the effort.

Tom Kuhn
Tom Kuhn
1 month ago

Integrity is an unfamiliar concept for the Democrat party! Cheating is their Forte!

John Riley
John Riley
1 month ago

This is obviously pandering to an eclectic that has no loyalty to any state or country and will vote for whom ever promises the most benefits. Citizens only should say who will govern them. First of all do away with undocumented alien and call them illegal.

AnnW
AnnW
1 month ago

Is this going to be stopped?? Isn’t it too late? Hell, we figured this out 3.5 years ago!!!

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

I too was a non citizen once and heard many citizens talk and could not believe the imbecility that came out of some You’d think they were just unearthed from a turnip field These people vote, it is scary Of course non citizen can’t be allowed to vote but many are better informed than native born and many come from countries where election is just a formality I wonder if people realize how dear the vote is, that it means everything Perhaps there should be some test just to assure the person is aware of reality

jay
jay
1 month ago

I would go further than some of you. I think we should change the citizen law, of just because you walk across the border and have a baby, it is a US citizen. I think that needs to change. Only children born in the US by legal American citizen parents should become citizens when born. Years ago pregnant Russian women where coming to the US and staying in hotels until they went into labor and then their babies were declared citizens. Now we hear, the illegal immigrants are having 2-3 babies per day in some of the hotels and these children are citizens!! I think that needs to change.

Dale
Dale
1 month ago

Anyone that won’t/can’t/hasn’t applied for AND recieved citizenship hasn’t got the
welfare of the community in mind and should be denied the ability to vote !!

Summer Sands
Summer Sands
1 month ago

Absolutely ridiculous and unconstitutional. Any illegal alien caught voting in any election should be charged with voter fraud and be immediately deported along with his/her entire family. They should all be blacklisted so none of them can ever come here legally. Their biometrics should be entered into a database to ensure that they and any of their family members can never gain entry to the US legally. If they get caught here as illegal aliens again, throw them in jail for 20-30 years then deport them. I’m so sick of the demoncraps playing with out elections and I’m equally sick of illegal aliens mooching off our Country.

Barrett T Smith
Barrett T Smith
1 month ago

It is not hard to see that this was the plan all along. Wouldn’t it be funny if they all started to vote Republican!

Glennis
Glennis
1 month ago

If you are a legal resident of the United States then you may vote with a picture ID. If you are not then you may not vote until at which time you become one. Period, end of story.

Richard Wayne Letson
Richard Wayne Letson
1 month ago

Stop them at the source. This is what low life democrats do. The border must be shut down and now.

CiciKap
CiciKap
1 month ago

Trump warned us about the Democrats during the last election. He said something to the effect of if the democrats are given the power that we will never get this country back. He somehow knew what was happening to our country and what they were trying to do, which is why he got into the political arena to begin with. I never loved Trump but I trust that he has this country’s best interests at heart. He didn’t become a billionaire by being a fool. So, I tend to overlook his “speeches” which are written by others and follow his actions during his first Presidency. Our country was doing better during his Presidency, I’ll take what he did over what we have currently ANY DAY!

Joe McHugh
Joe McHugh
1 month ago

Vermont is a blue state. I think that Vermont would benefit if even more illegal aliens were bussed to that state. I suggest that the American citizens who live in Vermont vote to spend more state tax money on making the illegals feel right at home.
Perhaps the state governments in the southern border states should purchase one way tickets for the illegals to travel to Vermont. They deserve such a worthy effort.

Commentary
Commentary
1 month ago

Name one other nation that allows non-citizens to vote in anything. It is a mystery to me and a frustration to see so many Americans so willing to give our freedoms and privileges away, and that is exactly what this is doing. Why are so many so eager to kill America’s exceptionalism in giving CITIZENS a voice in how their governments work by allowing non-citizens to have a say, in some places a large say, in the governance of their cities, states, nation?

Susan
Susan
1 month ago

Illegals should NOT be able to vote on anything !

Nick Patriot
Nick Patriot
1 month ago

Where are the Republicans??

R Borowski
R Borowski
1 month ago

What’s to stop train loads of Iranian coming in to our states and cities and voting in local and national elections. fr dog catherers to president, and local budgets and laws. Education requirements and reli freedoms. All because non-citicens can vote??

fpatriot
fpatriot
28 days ago

That was Bidumb’s whole purpose of illegally inviting the invasion of illegal aliens at our Southern border and Democraps have admitted it! America has immigration laws that have worked well for over a hundred years. My ancestors came legally under those laws as did most Americans. What Bidumb has done has been totally illegal from day one and he is the one who should have been charged and jailed for dereliction of duty under America’s Constitution.

cam
cam
28 days ago

Citizenship is a right not to be sold, or promoted by any political party or wanting to usurp total control over those who disagree. Proponents in favor of deviating from the pathway to citizenship are playing games to circumvent the rights of national citizenship in favor of buying votes to empower themselves at the demise of the USA. There are pathways to become citizens. The so-called democratic socialists (oxymoron term) is sinister. Plain and simple.

jerry
jerry
1 month ago

I don’t think that the DemonRats are gonna like their Commie lives.

Gil
Gil
1 month ago

I want to let anyone know about what I have learned recently. Go to “Omega4America.com” and read. It gave me hope and trying to find out more. Anyone that can, please pass this on and let others know.

John
John
1 month ago

It is unconstitutional, so Biden, Socialist Democrats have stated that they want a war or revolution!

Smike
Smike
24 days ago

While AMAC is deeply involved in issues they can’t do a lot about they are asleep at the switch concerning the seniors they are supposed to be supporting. Did you just miss it or too busy saving the world to notice the Social Security Act of 2024.
Under the Social Security Act of 2024 both spouses must be born before 1954 to obtain the higher of the two spouses Social Security benefits on the death of the higher paid spouse. I was born in 1949 and worked until 70 to give this benefit to my wife who was born in 1958. And with a stroke of the pen, the Biden Administration took it away.
I will not touch social security, is the battle cry – well, on Bidens watch an important benefit was taken away. And what’s worse, AMAC let it happen without a fight. Did you even know this was happening? Why didn’t AMAC stand up for us and fight this…..

Cher
Cher
27 days ago

If you wanted to know how corrupt Dems are – this is it! And Dems are PROUD of themselves! Do you believe it NOW?

Drue
Drue
27 days ago

I am unsure what is wrong with most New England states. They are for the most part, blatantly left wing liberals. Why? it must be that the winter cold has frozen their brains. Never understood that. Beautiful scenery and comatose citizens.

Barry Galison
Barry Galison
29 days ago

It’s illegal and unconstitutional. So what are you trying to prove

Rich
Rich
29 days ago

Absolutely disgusting if illegals can vote!

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
1 month ago

The DIMMS invented vote fraud–whether it was Boss Tweed, Frank Rizzo, Richard Daley, LBJ, or Joe Kennedy. That’s a way of life for them! As DJT says we need a vote for him that is “too big to rig!”

johnh
johnh
1 month ago

Interesting that Trump is pushing absentee ballots & that many of the MAGA group still think that is rigged. If you do not vote in election, do not whine about the results.

Hdrydr
Hdrydr
1 month ago

Illegals voting is a criminal offense. Nothing has been done to stop mail-in voting or ballot box cheating. The “republicans” have had almost 4 years to do something and as always, NOTHING has been done, or started for that matter. Do you think something will be done? If your response is “yes”, you live in a world of DELUSION.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

How about all Blue States then??

DAE
DAE
1 month ago

Currently there are Over 44 Million LEGAL Immigrants Living in the US!
Who Cannot Vote! Btw, All of these LEGAL US Immigrants Can Be Drafted into the US Military and Historically Have been. Congress should Legislate The 44 Million LEGAL US Immigrants Living in America The Right to Vote!
This BEFORE Any ILLEGAL Immigrant Votes in Any Election at Any Level.

iRAN
iRAN
1 month ago

Noncitizens are not allowed to vote in state or national elections, and there is little evidence that they do so illegally in large numbers.

Why is the author, RINO Ryan Mills, making such a bogus and counterintuitive argument against his own article? Makes no sense. Typical of National Review.  

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