By Bob Katzen
The Election Laws Committee recommended that a bill that would permit cities and towns to allow non-citizens over age 18 to vote in local municipal elections be shipped off to a study committee where bills are rarely actually studied and are essentially defeated.
It is a way to kill a proposal without holding a vote on the bill itself. The elections in which non-citizens could vote include an election for mayor, school committee, city council, town council, board of selectmen, select board elections, a school committee referendum and a local ballot referendum,
“I filed this legislation to extend voting rights to certain non-citizen residents because our immigrant neighbors pay taxes, send their children to public schools, start businesses and contribute to our communities in other ways,” said Sponsor Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). “They should be able to elect leaders and have a say in local politics just like anyone else. Extending the right to vote in municipal elections will strengthen our communities and give more residents a greater civic involvement and investment in politics that affect their daily lives.”