There is a rumbling of an approaching storm: a question sure to divide America further politically and personally. Does this country allow foreign nationals to vote in elections? There is no middle ground; it’s a yes or no answer, with leftists demanding aliens cast a vote and constitutionalists shuddering at the mere thought.
Some might ask: How is this even under consideration? Vermont has the answer.
Think Global, Act Local
Montpelier and Winooski, two small cities in Vermont, are the latest to implement a policy allowing non-citizens to cast ballots in municipal elections for mayor, city council, and school board. It was an apparent snub to Governor Phil Scott, who vetoed statewide legislation with the same intent. Playing it safe and nearly fence-sitting, Scott declared at veto time: “We can’t do this piecemeal because the approach that Winooski took was different from the approach that Montpelier had taken, so we just need it all the same, so there is no confusion.”
Well, as it happens, there is confusion. The Republican National Committee and the state GOP challenged the back-door plan in the works, stating in a string of lawsuits: “The Vermont Constitution requires U.S. citizenship as a qualification of voting.” Of course, that document could be amended.
Vermont’s constitution requires voters in any election to be U.S. citizens. Foreign residents are not allowed. And, frankly, it would take a Herculean effort to change the state charter. To amend Vermont’s requirements, the State Senate must approve any change by a supermajority – two-thirds of the body. After that, the House must concur. Great.
But adding an extra layer of red tape, and some might say a safety net from rogue legislators, the next biennial General Assembly (occurring every four years) must go through the voting process again and then send it to a citizen ballot. It’s a weighty process.
But Vermont is not the only state attempting to push aliens to have the right to vote. Following the lead of San Francisco and several municipalities in Maryland, other states are quietly working on plans for foreign citizens being added to voting rosters. Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles are the three largest municipalities in the United States, and they are in the middle of approving the alien vote.
In Illinois, Democratic State Senator Celina Villanueva is leading the charge to incorporate non-citizen votes in school board and statewide elections. Villanueva’s argument: “We’re essentially doing taxation without representation. We have a large population of non-citizens in this state and throughout this country, and they should have their voices heard, especially when it comes to the education of their children.”
Alarming to many conservatives, the cumbersome process of altering most states’ constitutional mandates is quite doable – and not much can be done about it. Scott D. Cosenza, Liberty Nation’s Legal Affairs Editor, explained:
“The Constitution provides that federal law is ‘the supreme Law of the Land,’ so there can be no true conflict in a contest between states and the federal government. It’s up to Vermonters to decide how they want to pick dog catchers, I suppose, and if they want any Thomas, Ricardo, and Henrio to be able to vote, the U.S. Constitution doesn’t have much to say about it.”
But one state is attempting to stop foreign agents in their tracks: Georgia.
The Devil in the Georgia Details
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is proposing a lockdown on his state’s charter. Perhaps it is a move to keep the unruly alien masses out of the state’s business, or it could be a way to poke the bear known as Stacey Abrams. In either case, Raffensperger is pushing his idea of who should be at the polls – local or not:
“Citizens-only voting has overwhelming bipartisan support. Like with commonsense election integrity measures like voter ID, Stacey Abrams and her allies seem to be the only ones at odds with American people.”
Remember, Abrams did light a Georgia flag on fire in a hissy fit. So she might be at variance with her entire state. And not all states are feeling the alien love. Alabama, Florida, Colorado, and North Dakota have all voted to amend their state constitutions in the opposite direction: all ballots to be cast only by U.S. citizens.
But be on the lookout for other blue states to try to force changes that allow foreigners into the voting system.
~ Read more from Sarah Cowgill.