ACTION ITEM: Support Automatic Voter Registration


FOCUS: Election Laws

DEADLINE: TODAY through noon on Thursday, June 8th

(Hearing scheduled for 6/08/2017 from 1:00 PM-5:00 PM in A-2)

ACTION:

Support S 373 – An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud (Automatic Voter Registration or “AVR”)

STEP 1: Email the Committee Chairpersons to express your support of these bills.
Senate Chair Anne M. Gobi – Anne.Gobi@masenate.gov
House Chair John J. Mahoney – John.Mahoney@mahouse.gov
 .
Bonus Points: Contact other members of the Joint Committee on Election Laws.
.
And – if you want to also add a little protest to your calls – while you’re voicing your support for AVR, you may also want to let legislators know that you do NOT support H370 – An Act Relative to Voter Identification.
 .
STEP 2: Contact your legislators to express your support of these bills and ask them to co-sponsor
STEP 3: Attend the Hearing
There is a hearing about the bill on June 8th, 2017 from 1pm-5pm, and a lobby day on June 28th, 2017. If you are able to attend either event contact

.
REASON:

America is the largest democracy that puts the burden of registering to vote on citizens, which is one of the reasons an estimated 15% of eligible voters in Massachusetts are not registered. People rushing to register or update registration prior to elections puts additional pressure on local clerks, especially in rural areas where one clerk may serve several towns. Inaccurate voter rolls from inaccurate data entry or outdated information contribute to long lines on election days. Technology has improved, so should our methods for registering voters. Automatic voter registration (AVR) is a vital step to making sure that all Americans have an equal voice in the political process by allowing voters to automatically register to vote when they interact with key state agencies which are already federally mandated to offer voter registration such as the RMV, MassHealth and Medicaid.
 
AVR will change the system from opt in to opt out. Citizens added to the voter rolls in this manner will be mailed a form allowing them to opt out or to choose a party affiliation if they wish. The agencies transfer information to election officials on a monthly basis leading to greatly increased accuracy of voter lists. AVR is more convenient, more cost-effective and more accurate. 32 states have introduced similar legislation, six states have passed it, and RI and IL are waiting for their governors to sign it into law. It is time to upgrade our voting system to ensure all eligible votes are counted.
.

 

Photo Credit: TV Wall Mounting Flickr via Compfight cc