It was great day for election modernization and voting rights in Massachusetts yesterday. By a vote of 37 to 1, the Senate passed a comprehensive election modernization bill (S.1975) that included online voter registration and early voting (passed in the House version late last year) as well as pre-registration, Election Day Registration, post-election audits, and permanent registration. These reforms will go a long way in expanding voter access, increasing voter participation and ensuring accurate election results.
This is the result of many years of advocacy from both organizations and legislators. Huge shout out to the Election Modernization Coalition led by ACLU Massachusetts, Common Cause Massachusetts, League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, MASSPIRG, MassVOTE, MA Voter Table, Progressive Massachusetts, and the MIRA Coalition. VThe coalition released this statement on the vote last night, click here.
Also huge shout outs to the legislative champions: the original bill sponsor and Senate Chairman of Election Laws Senator Barry Finegold; Senators Cynthia Creem, Jamie Eldridge and Anthony Petrucelli for filing Election Day registration amendments; Senator Petrucelli for filing the post-election audits amendment; Senator Sal DiDomenico for advocacy on pre-registration; Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz for filing the permanent voter registration amendment; and the 37 Senators who voted for final passage.
Massachusetts has been behind the curve, but these reforms would make us a national leader in ensuring free, fair and accessible elections.
The bill now moves back to House where it can either be accepted in full or rejected and sent to conference committee to iron out differences between the Senate and House versions. Stay tuned! You can follow updates and developments on Twitter at #UpdateTheVoteMA.