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Push for automatic voter registration


Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Unlike 12 other states and the District of Columbia, Massachusetts does not have Automatic Voter Registration. A bill to change that is currently in the state Legislature but will not be brought to vote without support from voters. Passing ARV would register nearly 700,000 unregistered voters when they renew their driver’s license or change their address with MassHealth.

Their information will be matched with the central voter registry run by the Secretary of State. Only information from U.S. citizens is forwarded. If they are eligible to vote but not registered, or if they are registered at a different address, they will be mailed a post card letting them know they will be added to the voter rolls or their address will be updated unless they opt out.

The ARV bill is a common-sense non-partisan voter reform that will clean up inaccuracies in the voter rolls, save the state money in the long run, and is endorsed by the League of Women Voters and 60 other organizations.

Secretary of State William Galvin recently endorsed it and urged the Legislature to approve the measure this year so that there is time to put in place the new system before the next presidential election in 2020.

Through passing ARV, we can improve voter turnout (Oregon had a 4.1 percent increase in the 2016 election after approving ARV). We can improve confidence in democracy and reach the young people who polls show are newly engaged in politics, making voting a habit from a young age.

Please contact your state senator and representative and ask them to urge the Joint Ways and Means Committee to vote for Bill H.4320 so that it can be brought to the floor for a vote this session, which is ending very soon.

Ruth Suyenaga

Royalston Democratic
Town Committee