Massachusetts Senate to vote on election modernization bill Thursday

Written by Tyler Creighton on January 14, 2014

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If you want to expand voter access in Massachusetts, now is the time to contact your state Senator.

On Thursday the Senate will take up S.1975, an election modernization bill that includes online voter registration, early voting, pre-registration, reforms to the inactive voter list and additional training for election administrators (Watch live stream here). The House passed online voter registration, early voting and administrator training earlier this session. These are all positive reforms that will make our elections more accessible, convenient and efficient.

In addition to passing the provisions in S.1975, the Senate should accept amendments to provide for post-election audits of vote counting equipment and Election Day registration. Post-election audits are the most cost-effective way to ensure that election equipment is working properly and election results are accurate. Election Day registration is by far the most effective way to encourage broad voter participation. It also greatly reduces Election Day problems for voters and poll workers alike.

It is critical that we not pass up this opportunity for Massachusetts to become a leader -- not a laggard -- in ensuring free, fair, and accessible elections. Please urge your Senator today to support a S.1975 with amendments for post-election audits and Election Day registration.

Moreover, the Senate should vote down any amendments to require photo ID to vote. The Joint Committee on Election Laws has given unfavorable reports to these proposals for many years and for good reason. Requiring mandatory photo ID would cause greater delays in voting, would be burdensome on vulnerable populations, would cost a lot, and has not been shown to be necessary or effective in preventing alleged impersonation fraud. The Bush administration spent considerable time and money trying to find in-person voter fraud and came up empty-handed. Preventing thousands of legitimate voters from casting their ballot by requiring them to obtain a government issued photo ID is a much greater threat to the legitimacy of our voting system than is the virtually non-existent threat of in-person voter fraud.

At a time when voting rights are under attack across the country, shouldn't Massachusetts take a stand to expand voting rights?

Follow the vote on Twitter at #UpdateTheVoteMA or @CommonCauseMA. Or watch the live stream.

Office: Common Cause National, Common Cause Massachusetts

Issues: Voting and Elections, Voting and Elections

Tags: Registration and Voting Systems, Election Modernization

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