There are four statewide ballot questions this November. Question 4 is not included in the Secretary of State’s information mailer.
The Legislature passed a law over the Governor’s veto this summer to follow what 17 other states have already done. No Republican in the House or Senate voted for the law. With the support of District Attorneys, sheriffs, and city police chiefs, the change permits state driver licenses regardless of immigration status. Of course, one must still pass a written test, road test and provide a passport, birth certificate or other official identifying information.
Distinct studies from Harvard and Tufts validate the Yes on 4 campaign pitch that Question 4 provides safer roads for everyone. Since passing this law years ago in California, the state has seen a decline in serious auto accidents by more than 20%. Other states report a 10% decline in Hit & Run accidents. It’s a law in Utah. Other states report that drivers without immigration status buy auto insurance, register the car, and pay excise and sales taxes.
Voting YES on 4 keeps the law in place. An opposition group called Fair and Secure Massachusetts sprang up over the late summer and collected signatures outside Market Baskets across the state. By mid-September, the Secretary of State announced that there were enough signatures to put the question on the ballot. It has the support of Geoffrey Diehl, Massachusetts Republicans and the mother of someone who was killed in a traffic accident by an unlicensed driver, who never passed a driving test and had no insurance.
The Vote NO group has a campaign based on fear, smear and innuendo. The Governor claimed the possession of a driver’s license would allow to illegally register to vote. Any immigrant who illegally votes is deported. This is not going to happen. People have come to this country to stay here, not to get kicked out.
Vote YES on 4 and ask four people everyday to do so. The question is likely to appear on the back page of your ballot.