Leaders concerned over list of noncitizens in vote proposal

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Compiling a list of legal but noncitizen residents as part of a proposal to allow noncitizen voting in a Vermont city could have negative and unintended consequences, local leaders said.

The proposal returned to Burlington City Council Charter Change Committee on Monday because of concerns over the list of names that would be created should noncitizen voting be legalized.

“If there is a way around that, we want to seek that out, but with talking to community partners, through our city attorney,” council member Adam Roof said.

The list would be public and separate from the list of U.S. citizen voters, City Attorney Eileen Blackwood said, because noncitizens cannot vote in state and federal elections.

“The folks that would be registering and on this list would be legal residents, meaning they have gone through the Federal Immigration Authority,” Blackwood told WCAX-TV , so the list wouldn’t contain information that federal authorities don’t already have, she said.

If the resolution gets a majority council vote on Dec. 16, it will be put on the March 2020 ballot for local voters. Any city charter changes in Vermont must be approved by the Legislature.