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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 889         FILED ON: 1/17/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 317

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Eileen M. Donoghue

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act allowing citizens seventeen (17) years of age to vote in the City of Lowell municipal elections.

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Eileen M. Donoghue

First Middlesex

Kevin J. Murphy

18th Middlesex


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 889        FILED ON: 1/17/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 317

By Ms. Donoghue, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 317) of Eileen M. Donoghue and Kevin J. Murphy(with the approval of the mayor and city council) for legislation to allow citizens seventeen (17) years of age to vote in the City of Lowell municipal elections.  Election Laws.  [Local Approval Received.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act allowing citizens seventeen (17) years of age to vote in the City of Lowell municipal elections.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1.  Notwithstanding section 1 of chapter 51 of the General Laws, or any other general or special law to the contrary, every citizen seventeen years of age, not being a person under guardianship or incarcerated in a correctional facility due to a felony conviction, and not being temporarily or permanently disqualified by law because of corrupt practices in respect to elections, who is a resident in the City of Lowell where he or she claims the right to vote at the time he or she registers, and who has complied with the requirements of this chapter, may have his or her name entered on a separate list of persons designated to vote therein in any elections of candidates for municipal office in the City of Lowell.

              SECTION 2.  Any such qualified residents of the City of Lowell who are seventeen (17) years of age on the date of any elections of candidates for municipal office in the City of Lowell who chose to register to vote in the City of Lowell local elections shall be designated “Special Registered Minors.”

              SECTION 3.  Qualified residents of the City of Lowell who are seventeen (17) years of age shall be registered by completing a “Special Registered Minors Registration Form.” Such form shall be created, maintained, and disseminated by the City of Lowell Election and Census Commission Department.  The “Special Registered Minors Registration Form” shall require the applicant to provide his or her full name, former name if applicable, current address, address where the applicant receives mail, date of birth, identification number in the form of a Massachusetts Driver’s license number or the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number, and party enrollment or designation.  The applicant may provide a telephone number.  The applicant must sign a “Special Registered Minors Registration Form” and affirm that the information provided is true and accurate upon penalty of perjury.  If the applicant is unable to sign the “Special Registered Minors Registration Form,” a person helping the applicant will provide his or her name and address on the form.  The assister may also provide a telephone number.

              SECTION 4.  “Special Registered Minors” shall have their names placed on a separate election roll list compiled and maintained by the City of Lowell Election and Census Commission, separate and apart from the regular elector roll.

              SECTION 5.  Any such “Special Registered Minors” will, on the applicable local Election Day, be granted a specially prepared ballot that shall contain only those local elections for which “Special Registered Minors” are entitled to vote pursuant to this chapter.

              SECTION 6.  When a “Special Registered Minor” becomes eighteen (18) years of age, his or her name will immediately be stricken from the City of Lowell’s separate election roll list compiled in accordance with section 4.  Said former “Special Registered Minor” shall be barred from voting in any state, local or federal election unless he or she registers to vote as required by section 1 of chapter 51 of the General Laws.

              SECTION 7.  The City of Lowell, by and through its Election and Census Commission, shall send notice, by mail, to “Special Registered Minors” when they become eighteen (18) years of age informing them of their removal from the City of Lowell’s separate election roll list compiled in accordance with section 4.  Said notice will also provide instructions regarding how to qualify and register as an official voter of Massachusetts.

              SECTION 8.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the provisions of chapters 50 through 54 of the General Laws shall apply to “Special Registered Minors” so far as applicable.

              SECTION 9.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to qualify a “Special Registered Minor” any rights, privileges, or titles provided to voters as so referenced under section 1 of chapter 51 of the General Laws, the Massachusetts Constitution, or the Federal Constitution of the United States.

              SECTION 10.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to grant a “Special Registered Minor” any right or claim to run or otherwise qualify as a candidate to become any elected official in any local, state, or federal election.

              SECTION 11.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to grant any “Special Registered Minor” the right to vote in any election for any office or candidate other than an office or candidate for the Lowell City Council, the Lowell School Committee, or any other body politic in Lowell for which a “Special Registered Minor” becomes qualified to vote after the passage of this act.  Nothing in this act shall be construed to enable any “Special Registered Minor” to vote for any state ballot initiative, regional school committee election, or any other regional, state, or federal election.

              SECTION 12.  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to grant any “Special Registered Minor” enrolled in a public school in Lowell the right to excuse oneself without permission from school authorities to vote or otherwise participate in an election during school hours.  Participation is defined as skipping school without permission on an applicable election day to vote, hold, sponsor or attend any election-related event or meeting, distribute campaign literature, transport voters or other “Special Registered Minors” to polling locations, or otherwise participate in said election during school hours.

              SECTION 13.  The provisions of this act shall take effect upon its passage by the voters of the City of Lowell.

              SECTION 14.  The exact question as it would appear on the ballot in the next general election of the City of Lowell is:

              Do you approve of a law summarized below, on which a vote was taken by the Senate and the House of Representatives on _________?

              Summary:

              This proposed law would lower the voting age for all local municipal elections in the City of Lowell to citizens seventeen (17) years of age who register as “Special Registered Minors.” Potential “Special Registered Minors” must still comply with all other state and city electoral requirements before having their name entered on a separate designated election roll list compiled and maintained by the City of Lowell.

              “Special Registered Minors” are only permitted to vote in any local municipal election and only for such positions pertaining to the governance of the City of Lowell.  Nothing in this law would grant “Special Registered Minors” any rights to vote in any other regional, state, or federal election.

              When a “Special Registered Minor” becomes eighteen (18) years of age, his or her name will be stricken from the City of Lowell’s designated elector roll list for such “Special Registered Minors.” He or she will be unable to vote in any election unless he or she registers to vote as required by Massachusetts General Laws, c. 51, s.1.

              A YES VOTE would lower the voting age in all local municipal elections in the City of Lowell to all qualified citizens seventeen (17) years of age or older.

              A NO VOTE would make no change in the voting age for local municipal elections in the City of Lowell.

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