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Advocates Hope To Re-Introduce Noncitizen Voting Issue Next Year

Oliver Parini for VPR
Burlington's Ward 4 residents line up to vote at Saint Mark's Youth Center last Tuesday morning for Town Meeting Day.

On Town Meeting Day, Burlington voters rejected a ballot item to give non-U.S.citizens the right to vote in local elections. But advocates hope to re-introduce the issue next year.

The idea of noncitizen voting in Burlington has been bubbling since the early 2000s, but failed to garner enough support from city officials.

But this year, despite support from Mayor Miro Weinberger and a majority of city councilors, the measure failed approximately 58 percent to 42 percent at the polls.

Infinite Culcleasure, one of the lead organizers on the project, says organizers are already looking to re-introduce the issue.

"We're thinking about next year. Because this is a long game initiative, even if it had passed," he said.

 Culcleasure says even if the issue does pass in Burlington on a future Town Meeting day,  the Vermont legislature would also need to vote on on the proposal.

Voters also rejected an initiative that would have allowed non-citizens to serve on city boards and as department heads.