Burlington councilor withdraws noncitizen voting proposal from ballot

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) A Burlington proposal that would have let noncitizens vote in local elections will not be on the Town Meeting Day ballot.

Adam Roof, I-Burlington City Council, introduced the measure in October, saying that all residents have the right to participate in the local democratic process and the highest level of participation in that process is being able to cast a vote.

The City Council in October voted 10-2 in favor of the resolution. But after ongoing concerns, Roof on Tuesday withdrew the proposal.

"There was a growing level of misunderstanding and confusion when it comes to the facts related to this charter change," Roof said in a statement. "My intention with this motion is to put this initiative in the best position to pass, and given how the public discussion has developed as of late, I don’t believe that time is this coming March."

Roof says there should be more public dialogue so people could be better informed.

The charter change would have also needed approval from the Legislature. A similar measure passed by voters in Montpelier cleared the House last session but stalled in the Senate. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, has said he is not sold on the idea, saying it might violate a state law that prevents any database of noncitizens.