By Bob Katzen
Bill# (S 456) – Under current law, all Massachusetts households receive in the mail and must fill out an annual street listing (census) form that includes each resident’s name, address, date of birth, occupation, veteran status and nationality, if not a citizen of the United States, in January of each year. The information is used to maintain voting and jury lists, aid in school enrollment projections and for many other things including veterans’ benefits and proof of residency for state universities.
This bill would allow any resident of a city or town to request that his or her information from each city or town’s annual street listing not be posted publicly and not be disclosed to anyone without the person’s permission.
Current law allows a few people, including those who are under a court order granting protection or living in a protective shelter, law enforcement and public safety personnel, to request their information be kept confidential. The bill allows anyone to request the exemption.
“This straightforward bill would allow town clerks to refrain from making public personally identifiable information about voters if they receive a request from said voter,” said sponsor Sen. Jo Comerford (D-Northampton). “I was happy to introduce this bill on behalf of a constituent of mine. This bill will not become law this session, but I look forward to further action in this space in subsequent sessions.”