THE HISTORY OF IMMIGRANT VOTING RIGHTS
The Immigrant Voting Project and
New York University Law Students for Human Rights
Resident Noncitizen Voting in Connecticut:
Although today’s Constitution, first adopted in 1965, no longer contains a reading requirement, judicial commentators have noted that no “court, however, has seen fit to protect participation of aliens in democratic political institutions, particularly those involving a state’s constitutional prerogatives.” United States citizenship remains a prerequisite to voting in Connecticut in the current version of the constitution, which provides that:
Every citizen of the United States who has attained the age of eighteen years, who is a bona fide resident of the town in which he seeks to be admitted as an elector and who takes such oath, if any, as may be prescribed by law, shall be qualified to be an elector.
In recent years, there has been at least one legislative attempt to revive limited non-citizen voting in Connecticut. On January 11, 2003, the Government Administration and Election Committee introduced Bill 340, “An Act Concerning Voting by Resident Alien Property Owners.” If passed, the bill would have expanded local suffrage to include certain non-citizen taxpayers, changing the language of Section 7-6 of the Connecticut General Statutes as follows:
At any town meeting other than a regular or special town election or at any meeting of any fire, sewer or school district or any other municipal subdivision of any town incorporated by any special act, any person who is an elector of such town may vote and any [citizen of the United States] person of the age of eighteen years or more who, jointly or severally, is liable to the town, district or subdivision for taxes assessed against [him]such person on an assessment of not less than one thousand dollars on the last-completed grand list of such town, district or subdivision, or who would be so liable if not entitled to an exemption under subdivision (17), (19), (22), (23), (25) or (26) of section 12-81, may vote, unless restricted by the provisions of any special act relating to such town, district or subdivision.
The bill died in committee without receiving much public attention or debate.
 Gerald Rosburg, Aliens and Equal Protection: Why Not the Right to Vote?, 75Mich. L. Rev. 1092, 1097 (1977).
 Horton, supra note 10.
 Jacob K. Cogan, The Look Within: Property, Capacity, and Suffrage in Nineteenth-Century America, 107 Yale L.J. 473, 495 (1997).
 State v. Thigpen, 397 A.2d 912, 913 (Conn. Super. Ct., 1978).
 Conn. Const. Art. VI, §1.
For contemporary initiatives please go to the CONNECTICUT MAIN PAGE