Underage, non-citizen voting vetos face override

 By Guy Page

In addition to vetoing the $8.5 billion state budget and the legislative pay increase, Gov. Phil Scott also has vetoed two proposed municipal charter changes that would allow non-citizens and minors to vote in local elections and hold local office. 

H386 would allow 16-17 year olds to vote in municipal elections and hold local office. H509 would allow non-citizens to vote in local elections. A veto override session will be held June 20-22. 

This isn’t the first time Gov. Scott has vetoed municipal charter changes allowing voting by 16-17 year olds (last year, Brattleboro) and non-citizens (Winooski, Montpelier in 2021). 

Supporters of underage voting say it broadens citizen participation and gives young people a greater sense of citizenship and community investment. Critics say 16-17 olds lack the maturity and fiscal sense to cast votes on budgets, bonds, and community leadership, and sign contracts as elected officials. They also wonder why the Legislature believes youth are mature enough to vote and hold office but are too immature to own firearms, sign contracts, 

Scott has said non-citizen voting should be allowed statewide or not at all. 

This January, the Vermont Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the 2021 non-citizen voting charter changes, following a challenge by local residents and the national Republican Party. 

The linked bill name, name and topic of the bill, and veto date appear below.

S.39Legislative pay/benefits increase, A/K/A Compensation and benefits for members of the Vermont General Assembly5/31/2023
H.386Underage voting, A/K/A Approval of amendments to the charter of the Town of Brattleboro5/27/2023
H.4942023-24 State Budget, A/K/A Making appropriations for the support of government5/27/2023
H.509Non-citizen voting, A/K/A Approval of amendments to the voter qualification provisions of the charter of the City of Burlington5/27/2023

Categories: Legislation

7 replies »

  1. “Supporters of underage voting say it broadens citizen participation and gives young people a greater sense of citizenship and community investment.” If it’s all good at 16, why not lower it to 12 ? After all, if they are old enough to decide they were assigned the wrong gender at birth,and have their genitalia bastardized, shouldn’t they be able to vote, hold public office, get drunk, buy cigarettes, and face adult consequences, for criminal actions ?

    • Thank you…those are my words almost exactly. The insanity of our world has me in a constant state of perplexity.

  2. This is being pushed because the school system has successfully programmed young people in K-12 schools into supporting the preferred political literacy to support the democratic socialist agenda.

  3. If they were so concerned about getting the young people involved in town politics why don’t they just invite them to come and sit in on meetings without actually voting? Wouldn’t that be a smarter way to go?

  4. Raise the voting age to 120. Nobody gets to vote stopping the slide into the abyss pretty abruptly. Thereby, simplistic changes as proposed by the current regime will be curtailed considerably.

  5. We got this all wrong. Raise the voting age to 120 instead of dropping it. This would abruptly stop some , if not all, of the misdirected changes being currently proposed. It would also address an underserved consistency never fully recognized by the progressives bin Montpelier. Just think of the collective wisdom buried in all the years of experience which could be brought to bear.

  6. I’m all for sixteen-year-olds voting.as long as they can be drafted and be able to buy guns.

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