H.177 - AN ACT RELATING TO APPROVAL OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF MONTPELIER
in the State House of Representatives
on March 10, 2021, by a vote of
Purpose: This would change the charter of the City of Montpelier to allow non-citizens who are legally in the United States and full time residents of the city to vote in city elections.
Analysis: Those voting YES assert that non-citizens pay taxes, have children in the schools, and are active participants in the community, therefore they deserve the right to vote on issues that affect them.
Those voting NO assert that voting is a right and responsibility tied to citizenship, and that giving this privilege to non-citizens unfairly undermines the votes of actual citizens. They raise concerns that this will set a precedent for other towns to follow, and note that this is unconstitutional.
The Vermont Constitution states (emphasis added): “QUALIFICATIONS OF FREEMEN AND FREEWOMEN, § 42. [VOTER’S QUALIFICATIONS AND OATH] Every person of the full age of eighteen years who is a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly and who is of a quiet and peaceable behavior, and will take the following oath or affirmation, shall be entitled to all the privileges of a voter of this state:…”
As Recorded in the House Journal, Wednesday, March 10, 2021: “…Pending the question, Shall the bill be read a third time? Rep. McCoy of Poultney demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number. The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the bill be read a third time? was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 103. Nays, 39.. (Read the Journal, p. 292 - 293). Watch the floor debate on YouTube.
How They Voted
(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)
Sally Achey (R - Middletown Springs) – NO
William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – YES
Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – YES
Kirk White (P/D - Bethel) – YES
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – YES
Dane Whitman (D - Bennington) – YES
Terri Lynn Williams (R - Granby) –NO
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – YES
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – ABSENT
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – ABSENT
SEE MORE ROLL CALL VOTES
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