We need to make common sense updates so more eligible Americans can register, vote, and have their voices heard in our democracy, while at the same time safeguarding our election system with mandatory audits and better technology.

Outdated election administration laws and procedures wrongly disenfranchise eligible voters, preventing them from fully taking part in our democracy. Additionally, many of these laws contributed to three-hour wait times at polling places in cities across Massachusetts in previous elections.

In 2013 and 2014, Common Cause Massachusetts launched an aggressive campaign to finally pass a comprehensive Election Modernization bill. The law provides for Early Voting, online voter registration, pre-registration of minors, and audits of electronic voting equipment to ensure integrity.

These reforms improve on each step of the electoral process. Online voter registration and pre-registration of 17-year olds help ensure access to the ballot box, Early Voting makes casting a ballot easier during an election, and post-election audits ensure the machines that record our votes are accurate, reliable, and secure.

This was a major step forward, but we still need more. Our efforts to pass Election Day Registration and Automatic Voter Registration are ongoing, as well as campaigns for no-excuse absentee ballots, permanent voter registration, and more. In addition, we need to make sure that the 2014 Election Modernization bill gets implemented in such a way that voters across localities are actually able to more easily participate in our democracy.

Massachusetts needs to lead on the issue of ensuring free, fair, and accessible elections. Let’s update the vote!

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