by Guy Page
The Vermont House today gave final approval to Burlington charter changes allowing ranked-choice and non-citizen voting.
H.508, Approval of an amendment to the ranked choice voting provisions of the charter of the City of Burlington, and, H.509 Approval of amendments to the voter qualification provisions of the charter of the City of Burlington, will now move on to the Senate.
Ranked choice voting, also known as Instant Runoff Voting, allows voters to list first, second and third choices. It is favored by third parties, including Progressives, who used IRV to help elect Progressive Bob Kiss over Republican candidate Kurt Wright in a Burlington mayoral race. Wright ws the top vote-getting in the first round but lost to Kiss in IRV. The provision was repealed, but H.508 would reinstate it.
H.509 would give Burlington non-citizen voters the right to vote in municipal and school elections. Similar charter changes were approved for Montpelier and Winooski in recent years.