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Republicans Attempt to Restrict Vermonters’ Right to Vote


Ben Sarle - Director of Communications & Outreach



Republicans Attempt to Restrict Vermonters’ Right to Vote

MONTPELIER - Yesterday may have been April Fool's Day, but something very serious happened in the Vermont Senate - Republicans attempted to attach voter ID laws to our same-day registration bill. Senator Dustin Degree of Franklin County offered an amendment that would have required an unreasonable burden of proof of identification when attempting to vote. Voting is not a privilege - it is a right in this country, but Vermont Republicans seem to have followed their national counterparts by simply ignoring that.

The national GOP and organizations like ALEC have been crafting legislation for years that limit an American citizen's right to vote, relying almost exclusively on the erroneous argument that it is meant to protect against "voter fraud". To be clear, voter fraud in the United States is so scant that it can hardly be considered a provable phenomenon, yet Republicans will use this fabrication to keep students, geographically mobile voters, senior citizens, and minorities from voting at all. Strict voter IDs laws from Republicans in states like Wisconsin and Texas have used the fictitious voter fraud argument to alienate hundreds of thousands of registered voters.

Is this what we want for Vermont? A state that disempowers voters and blocks people from accessing their own rights? It looks like that is what Vermont Republicans want. For all the talk of how Vermont Republicans are different, they are, once again, in lock-step with the national GOP when it comes to stripping voting rights from Vermont citizens.

We thank the Democratic and Progressive Senators that stood up to this – restrictive voter ID laws have no place in Vermont.