42 Organizations Call for Legislative Vote on Automatic Voter Registration in Time for 2020 Implementation

42 Organizations Call for Legislative Vote on Automatic Voter Registration in Time for 2020 Implementation

Letter to Speaker DeLeo Asks for Action as Legislative Clock Ticks

In a letter sent to Speaker Robert DeLeo, a groupof 42 civic, environmental, educational, and other various organizations asks the Speaker to bring a bill supporting Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) to a vote before the end of this legislative session. Speaker DeLeo publicly indicated support for Automatic Voter Registration recently.

“Our sense of urgency comes from the timeline required to implement AVR for the 2020 presidential election,” said Pam Wilmot, Executive Director of Common Cause. “We’re in a time when we need to do all we can to protect and expand democracy, while keeping our elections accurate and secure.”

AVR has broad support: in addition to the 42 groups that signed the letter, it has 85 co-sponsors in the House and 23 in the Senate. It has received a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Election Laws, and the Town Clerks Association has stated they are “fine” with the bill and support its intentions. Secretary of State Bill Galvin also supports the bill, as does Attorney General Maura Healey.

AVR has been approved in 13 states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia), and according to a new report looking at implementation in Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont, would cost Massachusetts virtually nothing to implement.

“As the end of the legislative session fast approaches, we’re aware of the huge workload before the legislature,” said Wilmot. “For many of our groups, AVR is a top legislative priority for the session, because we believe AVR is a top priority for enhancing our democracy. We appreciate the Speaker’s support, and hope to see Massachusetts become the next state to adopt AVR.”

The Election Modernization Coalition, which supports AVR, is led by Common Cause Massachusetts, the League of Women Voters or Massachusetts, MASSPIRG, MassVOTE, the Massachusetts Voter Table, the ACLU of Massachusetts, and Progressive Massachusetts. A full list of organizations endorsing AVR can be found here, and more information about AVR can be found here.