CONTEMPORARY MOVEMENTS IN MINNESOTA
February 2005. Five Minnesota state representatives have revived the state’s resident noncitizen voting rights initiative. Authored by Phyllis Kahn and coauthored by Clark, Mariani, Davnie and Ellison, H.F. 818 was introduced February 7, 2005 to change the state constitution to enfranchise adult legal permanent residents.
The operative change would be the addition of the sentence to the state constitution: “A local unit of government may authorize voting in its elections by a person who is 18 years of age or more, has resided in the local government jurisdiction for 30 days next preceding an election, and is not a citizen of the United States but is a permanent resident of the United States under federal law.”
The proposed amendment would submitted as a ballot question in the 2006 general election as follows:
“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to allow local units of government to authorize permanent resident noncitizens to vote in local government elections?”
Minnesota’s noncitizen voting rights initiative began with a threat on an e-democracy message board, Minneapolis Issues Forum, that included state legislators, neighborhood leaders, business leaders, arts leaders, and many people from the community at large.
In January, 2003, five state legislators introduced a bill in the state house of representatives to amend Article VII, Section 1, of the state Constitution to give communities the authority to allow legal permanent residents to vote in its local elections.
The bill would have placed the constitutional change on the November, 2004, ballot, for approval by Minnesotans. However, it never made it out of the Governmental Operations and Veterans Affairs Policy Committee.
Click HERE for the history of noncitizen resident voting in Minnesota.
Last updated February 14, 2005