Deb Billado: Citizen voting

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Deb Billado, chairwoman of the Vermont GOP. 

Earlier this week, Vermont made headlines for the Vermont Senate passing legislation that would allow non-U.S. citizens to vote in Montpelier city elections.

Civic engagement and voter participation is good — but it should be preceded by citizenship. The Senate’s decision sets up a slippery slope — should non-citizens be allowed to vote for state legislative positions? For governor? For Congress? For president?

Deborah Billado, chair of the Vermont GOP

Who will draw these increasingly arbitrary lines?

Instead, we should take the advice of Senator Brian Collamore (R-Rutland), who noted “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?”

Senator Collamore is exactly right. Instead of adding more non-citizen voters, the Legislature should be exploring better ways to improve outreach towards non-citizens living in Vermont and help them become citizens.

Instead of keeping them in the shadows and re-writing the definition of who gets the vote, we should be helping these folks enjoy the full rights and privileges enjoyed by all Americans by taking steps towards citizenship.

Once again, the Legislature should get its priorities straight. At a time when confidence in our government and electoral processes are at all-time lows, let’s not blur the lines even further. Instead, let’s find better ways to engage with non-citizen residents and help them achieve the American dream.

Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR
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10 thoughts on “Deb Billado: Citizen voting

  1. I came to the US many years ago on an L-1 visa (permit to work here). I had this visa changed to a Green Card (permanent resident) as soon as possible, but this still meant that I could not vote in US elections, which I fully understood as I was not yet a US citizen. A few years later I obtained my US citizenship and has proudly voted in every election since then.
    It galls me that illegal immigrants, and now almost still children”, are being considered eligible to vote. Voting should be reserved for mature, at least in age, US citizens. No one else.

  2. Voting is a ” Privilege ” that is offered to US Citizens, any politician that would promote
    Illegals voting should be run out of office.

    And you wonder why people questioned the 2020 election, so the DemocRATs think it’s
    ok for the Dead, non-resident, underage, and now Illegals…… wake up people !!

    They are a cancer on the country, and they need to be eradicated from office

  3. So, Deb Billado – as with other issues lots of words but precisely what concrete actions do you and your “republican” governor have planned to reverse and stop this – along with minors voting – dead in its tracks?

    While there are a number of great Republicans in the legislature I’m tiring of the worthless verbosity and ineffectiveness of the VTGOP.

    It seems Vermonters suffer only two political factions – progressive leftists and progressive enabling progressive lite.

    • And I am past-tired of those who slam the VTGOP and insult Ms. Billado – looks like you’re taking turns as the usual supects are MIA. Are you a member of the party Mr Sexton? If not, didja know you can make a recurring donation of as little as $3./monthly oh – and there’s the booster club for an additional $10. which uses donations to recruit officeholders.

      All over our nation Patriots are signing up for and running for every office no matter how small. You can sit back and let others do all the hard work or you can get involved. If we do not arrive in numbers Patrots are not there – Rinos are. Perhaps your county chair could use a hand or even Deb who does yeomans work. And why should she singlehandedly run the show while the whiners sit back and suck their thumbs.

  4. Here legally and here on a permanent basis are not the same thing. Citizenship is Citizenship. That (except in very rare instances) is permanent. Here legally until your visa expires is not. Students, tourists, medical visas, etc. Visa holders are visitors, distinct from illegal aliens by being legal and distinct from legal permanent resident, a stage toward naturalization (which is not mandatory and not always possible). Citizenship requirement for voting would encourage naturalization. I will not, however, be greatly surprised to see the Progressives petition for animals to vote. They’re already trying to grant the vote to people who aren’t even legally here.

  5. This incenses me!!
    My father fought in New Guinea during WWII , killed the enemy (because that was why our country sent him there) and got shot in the shoulder, returned home to battle malaria and multiple surgeries in hospital in San Francisco and then Fort Devens, MA hospital complex to recover which took him a year. He was lucky. My uncle, his brother, wasn’t so lucky as he was killed in the pacific and buried with thousands of other WWII heroes in Hawaii.
    I served during Viet Nam, a thoroughly unpopular war, yet I believed I was helping my country and, as a citizen, it was my duty to maintain our heritage and borders.
    Now I find that our country in many locals have no idea of what our country, it’s borders and what the privilege of citizenship means.
    The pure and unadulterated ignorance of those that believe their citizenship is some kind of right to extend that same right to non-citizens means to me that they have never, ever had to experience any personal hardship to uphold our rights as citizens as our fathers and mothers have and as I and my friends have.
    It is a sad, sad, day when our borders mean nothing, our privilege of citizenship means nothing and our dream (which our country has always held) for an inclusive immigrant population that enters our country legally and participates in their dream of our country’s future when viably becoming a legal citizen is summarily dismissed by those so privileged but so ignorant as to destroy their heritage and, eventually, our country by destroying what borders and citizenship ultimately HAS to mean for our and ANY country on earth!

    • Gary,
      Thank you and every person who fought for America and her constitutional rights.

      Unfortunately your sacrifes and the bloodshed and loss of life mean nothing to the ignorant public or corrupt politicians that support the destruction of America to promote their
      socialist agenda and efforts to push themselves up the political ladder while lining their pockets with money.

      What taxpayer in their right mind promotes voting by illegal immigrants? These are people who have never been through the process to learn about America and why it is so important to fight any efforts to destroy the last beacon of Hope in the world.

      What taxpayer in their right mind supports illegal immigrants over the American taxpayer?

      Corrupt politicians love to use these people to promote their corrupt agenda.

      As for Mr. Collamore…he speaks out both sides of his mouth.

      He is another RINO in Vermont that signed a petition against
      President Trump at the urging of our socialist Governor Flip Flop Phil.

      There were many other RIINOSthat couldn’t wait to fall in line with Scott before any evidence about the attack on the Capitol.

      Is it possible these fools also voted for Biden while claiming to be republicans?

      Perhaps “republican” Senator Collamore is following along with Flip Flop Phil!

      We need to clean out the Golden Dome of Gloom!

      Socialists and deceitful Rinos need to be tossed out on their lying butts.

      We are either going to clean out corrup politicians or lose Vermont.

      • I grew up in Lyndonville, VT, lived in East Burke for many years, but remarried and moved to Littleton, NH 16 years ago. Frankly, I love living in NH. While politically it is leaning towards democrats (though we have a really good Republican Governor), it is as for now basically a responsible government.
        As far as I can see Vermont is gone. Burlington and its environs run the state. It a Petrie dish of prog socialist experiments, one right after another. This is just the latest iteration.
        It is lost.

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