State of Vermont

Vermont Montpelier Noncitizen Voting Challenge 

Ferry v. Montpelier

Lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee, the Vermont Republican Party and Vermont voters challenging a statute that authorizes noncitizens in Montpelier, Vermont to vote in local elections. The Montpelier statute states that “any person may register to vote in Montpelier City elections who on election day is a citizen of the United States or a legal resident of the United States,” specifically defining a “legal resident” as someone “who resides in the United States on a permanent or indefinite basis in compliance with federal immigration laws.” The Republican plaintiffs allege that the latter part of the statute allowing legal noncitizen residents to vote in the city’s elections — which was passed as a charter amendment by voters in 2018 and approved for implementation by the Vermont General Assembly in 2021 — violates the Vermont Constitution because the state constitution only allows U.S. citizens to vote. The plaintiffs ask the court to declare the challenged noncitizen voting statute unconstitutional and “devoid of any legal force or effect.”

In April 2022, a trial court rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments that Montpelier’s authorization of noncitizen voting in local elections violates the state constitution and dismissed the lawsuit. The plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Vermont Supreme Court, which affirmed the trial court’s decision on Jan. 20, 2023, meaning that Montpelier’s noncitizen voting statute remains in place.

Case Documents (trial court)

Case Documents (Vermont supreme court)

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