Effort to Bar Out-of-State Residents From Voting Fails

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(Host) A group of House Republicans tried to make it much more difficult Thursday for out-of-state college students to vote in Vermont. They withdrew their plan after numerous House members raised questions about the proposal. Under the plan, anyone with an out-of-state driver’s license would be prohibited from voting in Vermont. The move was clearly aimed at communities like Burlington where a number of out-of-state students have registered to vote.

Norwich Representative Ann Siebert urged her colleagues to reject the plan:

(Siebert) “But I think people who come here for a short period of time in a year, and those seem to be shorter and shorter¿ . I’ve noticed or two or four [years], whether it’s for medical school in New Hampshire and they are living in Vermont or whether it’s on a sabbatical, I think Vermont wants to be their home. They are not tourists, they’re residents and they’re entitled to the full extent of the privileges that all Vermonters are entitled to.”

(Host) The measure also ran into problems because it was never reviewed by the House Local Government Committee. After more than an hour of debate, the sponsors of the plan acknowledged there were a lot of unanswered questions and they withdrew their proposal.

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