In Boston there is a current debate about whether non-citizens should be able to vote in city elections. They are not considering anyone that is considered to have “illegal” status. Such that are being considered are those that fall under, D.A.C.A., have temporary citizenship, visas, and green cards. The woman that is spearheading this campaign is Andrea Campbell, who is the president of the Boston city council. Her claim is, “All members of a community should have the right to participate and be included in the governance of that community.” To some degree I can see her point. The people that are being considered are working in the community and are providing services and taxes and are contributing members of the community. If they are contributing, but do not yet have full status should they then be excluded from voting?
If they cannot vote then should they also be forced to pay taxes? Campbell claims that these non-citizens paid $116 million in state and local taxes in the year 2015. Is it wrong to keep their voice down from not voting when they in turn are contributing so much to their community? There will be those that say that this is easily a power play from the Democrats who want to increase their voting block. I can see where that might be true as I believe that it is true that that occurs in other instances and the same can be said for the Republican Party and their actions in this regard as well in the past. There is no way to tell if the intentions are pure or not in this case.
One thing that i would like to harp on is the quote by Campbell that is mentioned above. It makes me wonder about what it takes for someone to be considered a citizen in a community. Does presence alone qualify a person to be an official citizen with an official vote? If a person is present and works in the community, but then they do nothing more than that and are not active with the issues the community face, should they then be subject to some kind of scrutiny about their role in the community? It is always interesting to me to see members of a community that are more pro active and that give so much more to a community that have a non-citizen status compared to those that are citizens, but then do nothing to improve the community at large.
It also begs the question if a person should be able to vote if they are not knowledgeable about the issues of a community, state, or nation. How valid really is a vote that is taken in ignorance and that only is done to align with whatever political party the voter is a part of without having done any research in the matter? I have posed many questions and do so to spur thought and reflection. I do not offer an official point on the situation, but feel that it is not one that should be swiftly swept aside, but looked upon, discussed, and then concluded.