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Boston considers allowing non-U.S. citizens to vote

People vote in the 2016 election at the Graham and Parks School in Cambridge, Mass.,
Voters at a polling station in Cambridge, Mass. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Officials in Boston are considering whether to allow noncitizens living in the U.S. legally to vote in municipal elections — such as for mayor, council members, and other local officials — in one of the latest attempts to grant voting rights to immigrants.

Why it matters: This comes as the immigration debate is getting more divisive across the country, and it will likely draw new anti-immigration sentiments to the polls. And while Boston's push to expand voting rights to non-U.S. citizens seems like a surprising one, 40 states had allowed noncitizens to vote in local and federal elections from 1776 until the 1920s, according to Ron Hayduk, a political scientist at San Francisco State University.