RNC sues two Vermont cities for letting non-citizens vote: report

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RNC sues two Vermont cities for letting non-citizens vote: report

The Republican National Committee is suing two cities in Vermont that allow non-US citizens to vote in local elections, according to a report on Tuesday.

Montpelier and Winooski changed their charters in May to allow non-citizens who are legal immigrants to vote in municipal elections — an action that was backed up by the state legislature. 

“Democrats are trying to dismantle the integrity of our elections,” RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said​, according to Fox News.​

“In addition to attacking widely supported safeguards like voter ID, Democrats also want foreign citizens to vote in American elections. Republicans are fighting back on this far-left assault against election integrity – unlike radical Democrats, we believe that our elections should be decided solely by American citizens. This is a matter of principle and we will fight in all 50 states to ensure this remains the case​,” she said. ​

The state’s House and Senate voted in June to override a veto by Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican. 

​”Allowing a highly variable town-by-town approach to municipal voting creates inconsistency in election policy, as well as separate and unequal classes of residents potentially eligible to vote on local issues,” Scott said in a letter to legislators, the report said.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
“Democrats are trying to dismantle the integrity of our elections,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel claimed.
Hannah McKay/REUTERS

State Sen. Brian Collamore, a Republican, told Fox News at the time that people who want to vote should become citizens. 

“The Montpelier bill allows what is defined as a legal resident of the United States to be able to vote in city elections. … If someone is here on a permanent basis, why would he or she not want to participate in the process to become a citizen?”​ he said. 

​​Legal immigrants are unable to vote in state or federal elections. ​

Vermont State House.
M​ontpelier City Clerk John Odum said cities and towns should be able to manage local elections.
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
Montpelier, Vermont.
“We are thrilled to offer immigrants the same respect that all of their other neighbors expect for themselves,” said John Odum.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

The RNC has characterized the fight as needed to “secure the integrity of our elections — in this specific instance, ensuring that American elections be solely decided by American citizens.​”​

“The suit also raises important concerns about how the laws will be implemented and whether non-citizens will end up on the same voter registration lists used for state-level and federal elections,” the RNC said.

M​ontpelier City Clerk John Odum said cities and towns should be able to manage local elections.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel says “our elections should be decided solely by American citizens.”
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

​“It’s always been Montpelier’s call on how we run our elections, and we are thrilled to offer immigrants the same respect that all of their other neighbors expect for themselves. It’s also nice to think that Montpelier could be an example to other like-minded communities, especially as the first state capital to do this,” he told The ​Montpelier ​Bridge following the veto vote.

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