FOCUS: Election Laws
DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 28
Support S 373 – An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud (Automatic Voter Registration or “AVR”)
OPTION 1: Attend the Lobby Day at the State House
9:30 a.m., Room 428, State House for registration, speakers and training; 11 a.m., meet with your Senator and Representative.
OPTION 2: Add your name to the Freedom North letter
One of our fellow resistors and action item powerhouse extraordinaire is heading to the State House on Wednesday and is collecting signatures on a letter that she will hand carry and deliver to Rep. Hill, Sen. Tarr, Rep. Mirra, Rep. Lyons. She has created a handy blog post where you can add your name.
OPTION 3: Email and/or call the Committee Chairpersons to express your support of these bills.
Senate Chair Anne M. Gobi – Anne.Gobi@masenate.gov (D) 617-722-1540
House Chair John J. Mahoney – John.Mahoney@mahouse.gov (D) 617-722-2460
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.
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 Inaccurate voter rolls from inaccurate data entry or outdated information contribute to long lines on election days.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.
- Common Cause Fact Sheet
- From the Washington Post: More states are registering voters automatically. Here’s how that affects voting
- From MA Common Cause: Dozens of Organizations Testify in Support of Automatic Voter Registration