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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.

The details: The move in Boston, spearheaded by Council President Andrea Campbell, will be the subject of a council committee hearing on Tuesday.

  • Campbell, in a Twitter post on Monday, cautioned that “Tomorrow is just a conversation, not a vote on an ordinance. I can no longer only go to rallies or send resolutions to Trump; what can we DO at the local level to support our immigrants? The discussion will include voting & OTHER possibilities.”
  • The measure would have to go through a home-rule petition and needs approval from the council, mayor, state Legislature and governor in order change the law, the Boston Herald notes.

Be smart: Noncitizens are prohibited from voting in federal and statewide elections under federal law, but states and municipalities are allowed to set their own policies.

The backdrop: College Park, Maryland will became the largest U.S. city to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections starting in 2019 through a law passed by the Council last year, per the Washington Post. Undocumented immigrants and student visa holders will also be allowed to vote.

Go deeper

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Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."