Vt. House approves Burlington charter changes on noncitizen voting and ranked choice voting

Published: May. 3, 2023 at 5:14 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont House Wednesday approved two charter changes sought by Burlington residents.

City voters on Town Meeting Day approved measures to allow noncitizens to vote as well as use ranked-choice voting in all city elections, including mayor. The method -- formerly known as instant runoff voting -- is already used for city council elections.

Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak, who is a Progressive / Democrat for Burlington says “We’re very confident and excited that this will allow a more representative democracy so people could actually make their choices and not be forced into sort of a binary choice between who they think is actually likely to win and having to worry about a spoiler vote or anything like that people can really say I think these two top candidates are great, and will have more choices as a result, which is great for democracy in Burlington.”

The Senate now takes up the charter changes.

Governor Phil Scott in 2021 vetoed similar noncitizen voting measures in Winooski and Montpelier, saying he opposed the “patchwork” approach to changing voting on a town-by-town basis. Lawmakers overrode the vetoes.

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