RNC challenges Vermont legislation giving voting rights to non-citizens
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EXCLUSIVE – The Republican National Committee is suing two Vermont cities over new town charters that allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections.
"Democrats are trying to dismantle the integrity of our elections," RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Monday. "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."
The case centers around the Vermont cities of Montpelier and Winooski, who in May had changes to their charters approved by the state's Senate that allowed non-citizens to vote in their municipal elections.
VERMONT LEGISLATURE OVERRIDES GOP GOVERNOR'S VETO OF BILL ALLOWING NONCITIZEN VOTING IN TWO CITIES
"I believe if someone wishes to be able to vote they should be a citizen," Vermont state Sen. Brian Collamore told Fox News in an interview at the time. "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?"
Republican Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the legislation in June, citing "inconsistency in election policy" across the state.
"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.
But the governor's veto was overridden by the Senate in a 20-10 vote, with Democrats getting just enough votes to clear the two-thirds majority needed for a veto override.
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Now the RNC has promised to fight back, arguing the lawsuit is part of their "ongoing fight 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.