There hasn’t been much media coverage on this so far (here and here) so in case you missed it, on Wednesday night just before the House recessed, it overwhelmingly passed online voter registration and early voting, 142 to 10. These important reforms will make voting more convenient, shorten long lines on Election Day, and increase participation in our elections. At a time when many other states are rolling back on voting rights, it is great to see action to protect and expand voting rights here in Massachusetts.
The bill now moves to the Senate where we can keep the pressure on to add even more reforms to the House bill (like post-election audits and teen pre-registration that passed the House overwhelmingly last year as well as Election Day registration which passed the Senate some years ago). The Election Modernization Coalition (Common Cause, MassVOTE, Progressive Massachusetts, ACLU, LWV, MIRA Coalition, MASSPIRG, and others) continues to advocate for these reforms and remains hopeful that a truly comprehensive bill will ultimately be signed into law.
If passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor, Massachusetts would join 19 other states in passing online voter registration (many in the past year). States like Georgia and Arizona have found it to be more secure and cost effective, cutting voter registration processing costs significantly as well as boosting registration numbers. Early voting is currently available in 32 states.