Two From Harvard Sue For Right to Vote Nov. 7
The Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit in Middlesex Superior Court yesterday requesting that two Harvard students and two MIT students be allowed to vote as Cambridge residents in Tuesday's election.
Celestine E. Bohlen '73 and Phillip Haas '76 were denied the right to vote in Cambridge when the Board of Elections decided that they were not bona fide residents of the city.
The Board has refused to register many students this year on the grounds that they are not permanent residents because they are not financially independent of their parents.
A spokesman for the Civil Liberties Union said that the lawsuit asks that anyone who is 18 years old and is an American citizen be permitted to register to vote in Cambridge if they consider it to be their permanent residence.
John Reinstein, who will argue the students' case, said that if the case is successful he is hopeful of getting all the rest of the students who were denied registration through the court this week so that they can vote on Tuesday. Reinstein estimated that about 50 other students were turned down in their attempts to register.
Haas said that after he was denied the right to register by Election Commissioner Edward J. Samp Jr., he was granted an appeals hearing before the whole Election Board.
"I showed them my bank account and my Coop card as proof that I was in fact a Cambridge resident," he said. Haas added that they did not send him a letter informing him that he could not vote, but when he called the Board of Elections they said he was not registered.
All four of the students are minors and by law they can not sue for their own rights. John Brode '52, chairman of the Democratic City Committee will act as guardian in the case.
The hearing will be held on Thursday morning in the Superior Court in Cambridge.