Lawmakers prepare for veto-overrides on noncitizen voting and juvenile private records

This week lawmakers return to their jobs in a special veto session to resolve whether noncitizens will be able to vote in local elections. They also will decide how to manage personal records for juveniles accused of serious crimes.

One of the two election-related bills, H.227, would allow the city of Winooski to let noncitizens vote in their local elections. Critics of the bill have pointed out that this would mean noncitizens will have an impact on the state-wide education fund.

The Montpelier version of the same effort, H.177, also would allow noncitizens to vote in local elections, including school budgets.

Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the measures, and in order to override the governor, the House and Senate chambers need get two-thirds of members on board. Based on past voting for the Montpelier bill — 103-39 in the House and 21-9 in the Senate — the vote to override will likely be close.

Liberal activists have already taken to social media to alert their supporters and rally for noncitizen voting.

Rutland County Democrats also weighed in on the matter.

The Center for Immigration Studies has determined that allowing noncitizens to vote is unwise because it lifts too many standards. For instance, they would not have to demonstrate an understanding of English or an understanding of U.S. history and government.

“These requirements are, of course, those that accompany the naturalization process by which legal immigrants become citizens,” the group states. “Abandoning all of them in order to give non-citizens the right to vote puts advocates in the paradoxical position of requiring far less for non-citizen than for citizen voting.”

In a recent commentary, Vermont GOP Chair Deb Billado notes that the Vermont Constitution has clear parameters for legal voting, including that the voter must be “a citizen of the United States, having resided in this State for the period established by the General Assembly,” among other rules.

She reminded Republicans to put the law first.

“As much as Republicans support the concept of local control, we cannot allow local municipalities to violate the constitution,” Billado wrote. “We take our oaths of office seriously.”

She said that there is still a path towards the right to vote.

“But we believe the way they ought to achieve that is by going through the naturalization process the way that every other immigrant who votes today had to do,” she wrote.

The other bill being reconsidered is S.107, which would protect the privacy of the records of young adults accused of serious crimes. Under this bill, law enforcement could only release records for serious violent crimes, but other crimes could remain concealed.

According to the website, which focuses on law and attorneys, “Juvenile criminal records are confidential in most circumstances, but the exceptions are significant.

The report continues, “Under certain circumstances, juvenile criminal records may even be accessible to the general public. As juvenile crime has increased and become more violent, policy makers have had to balance between competing interests: the interests of the community and juveniles’ privacy.”

Also during this veto session, lawmakers are expected to take up work on a statewide registry for rental homes and apartments so that safety standards can be better enforced. In addition, this bill would provide funds for interest-free grants for landlords to make improvements on their properties.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR
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5 thoughts on “Lawmakers prepare for veto-overrides on noncitizen voting and juvenile private records

  1. “I’ll end by pointing out that the Left wins because it seizes language. Take the policy of letting people vote who are not U.S. citizens and shouldn’t be voting. The Left calls this policy “counting every vote.” Therefore someone who wants to make sure voters are citizens is opposed to “counting every vote.” If we don’t take back the language, we will lose the truth ” Mark Steyn.
    Senator Kesha Ram, you will soon owe Vermonters an explanation of your true political agenda, but respect of the Vermont Constitution is not part of it.

  2. So what am I missing, Voting is a privilege given to US Citizens, so if these ” Illegals ”
    want to vote and have a say, they need to become ” CITIZENS ” ….. pretty simple !!

    Any legislator supporting this nonsense needs to be taken out of office for violating
    the US & Vermont Constitutions, maybe they need to read them again as they don’t
    mention anything about agendas, and you wonder why the state is in such distress.

    Wake up people

  3. A legislator voting for a law to make it legal for illegals to vote, would be in violation of his oath of office regarding the upholding of the US AND VERMONT CONSTITUTIONS.

    The Vermont Constitution REQUIRES a person to be a US CITIZEN, to be entitled to vote in ANY Vermont government-related election, whether this election is a municipal, county or state.

    The US Constitution already requires a person to be a US CITIZEN to vote for US President and for US House and US Senate representatives.

    Condos would need to have two registered voter lists, one for government-related elections regarding in-state matters, and one for electing Vermont’s Representatives to the US Congress.

    • Addition,

      Per US Constitution,

      Voters do not DIRECTLY vote for a US President

      Voters vote for representatives in their STATE Legislatures, who, in turn, appoint state electors, who, in turn, vote for US President.

      The Seventeenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

      The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

      The House is the only branch of government that has been DIRECTLY elected by American voters since its formation in 1789. Unlike the Senate, the House is not a continuing body. Its Members must stand for election every two years, after which it convenes for a new session and essentially reconstitutes itself—electing a Speaker, swearing-in the Members-elect, and approving a slate of officers to administer the institution. Direct, biennial elections and the size of the membership (currently 435 voting Representatives) have made the House receptive to a continual influx of new ideas and priorities that contribute to its longstanding reputation as the “People’s House.”

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