By Bob Katzen
The Elections Laws Committee’s hearing also included a proposal that would permit cities and towns to allow non-citizens over age 18 to vote in local municipal elections. The elections in which non-citizens could vote include an election for mayor, school committee, city council, town council, select board, a school committee referendum and a local ballot referendum.
“Non-citizen residents of Massachusetts are already participating deeply in civic life by attending parent-teacher conferences, working toward college degrees, donating their time for community projects, running local businesses and of course, paying their taxes,” said sponsor Rep. Mike Connolly (D-Cambridge). “That is why I am proud to refile this legislation to extend voting rights in municipal elections to noncitizen voters of the commonwealth.”
A similar bill filed by Connolly last year was 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.