We Need to do More to Ensure Greater Voter Participation Including Same Day Voter Registration

One of the reasons I am challenging the incumbent, Rep. John Lawn is my frustration with his lack of action on expanding voting rights. Currently voters must register at least 20 days before election day in Massachusetts. This means thousands of people get disenfranchised. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have passed laws to adopt same-day registration, including Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It has been working well in these states for many years. Where is Massachusetts on this?

Mr. Lawn is the Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws and he is letting important bills languish in his committee. This includes House Bill 636 which has just been extended until after the November election with no favorable (or adverse) report on “ought to pass” or “ought not to pass”.

The original champion of the bill has resigned her seat and is no longer serving. https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H636 Why is Mr. Lawn not taking up the mantle to push this bill through the House before the July 31st deadline?

It’s the same deal with H685 https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H685

And the same with the Senate bill 396 https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/S396/BillHistory…

Both Attorney General Maura Healy and Secretary Galvin support same-day voter registration. Mr. Galvin called it the “final step to ensuring everyone who can vote will have the opportunity to do so”.

Ms. Healy has stated that same-day voter registration will expand opportunities to more people who want to vote. “Voting rights are civil rights” and by “increasing participation among people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to vote, we’ll be taking a stand against the apathy and frustration that makes thousands of people opt out of the system all together.”

Same-day voter registration is an effective policy that clearly boosts turnout. States with same-day registration have a well-documented turnout advantage over states without it — an advantage of 7 percentage points in the 2018 midterm, according to the “America Goes to the Polls” report from Nonprofit VOTE and the U.S. Elections Project. In fact, seven of the 10 highest turnout states in 2018 had same-day registration.

Where is Chair Lawn on efforts to ensure all Massachusetts voters have the right to vote? 

Please see the attached articles for more information:

https://www.wgbh.org/news/politics/2020/01/28/same-day-voter-registration-bill-could-boost-turnout-in-mass-by-100-000

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/02/27/opinion/massachusetts-should-pass-election-day-registration-legislation/

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/06/20/galvin-healey-advocate-for-same-day-voter-registration-beacon-hill/6gsHJxWOb4a0UCLgBkAlnN/story.html

%d bloggers like this: