Legislation (H.2091 and S.373) pending on Beacon Hill would establish an automatic voter registration (AVR) system in Massachusetts, increasing political participation (up to 680,000 more registered voters) and making voting rolls more accurate and elections more secure.
The House and Senate goes on recess on November 15th. That means we have a little over a week left before the end of the session to get H.2091 and S.373 passed.
- CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS, and ask them to support H.2091 and S.373, Automatic Voter Registration. And tell them why you do! Then ask your friends and others in your district to call, too! Find your legislators’ full contact info here.
- SEND POSTCARDS: Print out these, or hand-write your own, to send your legislators.
- SEND A LETTER TO THE EDITOR of your local paper. There can never be enough. Click here for letters that have already been sent. Common Cause has made sending a letter to the editor on AVR easy with a form.
- JOIN LIFT+EVERY+VOTE’s TWITTER STORM on OCTOBER 30th. Hashtag: #AVRinMA. Use it to tweet the reason you want AVR, and retweet others on that day! And no one will make a citizen’s arrest if you start using that hashtag, NOW.
- Security: AVR helps secure our voter rolls and protect the integrity of our elections.
- Accuracy: State agencies like the RMV already collect contact information that’s far more accurate. AVR securely transfers it to the Board of Elections, monthly. In Oregon, the first state to pass AVR, 265,000 inaccurate voter records were eliminated.
- Participation: AVR removes unnecessary barriers to registration, giving 680,000 eligible Massachusetts residents the ability to participate. This is important for people who move and need to re-register, including as young families and military personnel.
- Convenience: Shifting from an opt-in model to an opt-out one makes registration more convenient. Voters who move within the state STAY registered.
- Modernization: By eliminating outdated paper registration, AVR reduces bureaucracy — and often saves taxpayers money.
Nearly 680,000 voting age citizens in Massachusetts are unregistered. That’s as if ALL of Boston were unable to vote.
Automatic voter registration makes two transformative, yet simple, changes to voter registration: Eligible citizens who interact with government agencies are registered to vote unless they decline, and agencies transfer voter registration information electronically to election officials.
These two changes create a seamless process that is more convenient and less error-prone for both voters and government officials. This policy boosts registration rates, cleans up the rolls, makes voting more convenient, and reduces the potential for voter fraud, all while lowering costs.
Ten states (AK, IL, VT, RI, CO, CT, OR, CA, CO, GA, and WV) and the District of Columbia have already adopted this reform. At a time when anti-voter restrictions are being passed in many states, Massachusetts should lead the way toward engaging eligible voters in the political process.
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
Brennan Center for Justice: https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/automatic-voter-registration
Interview about AVR with Joyce Hackett of Lift+Every+Vote: http://pittsfieldtv.net/CablecastPublicSite/show/28145?channel=1
Text of H.2091: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H2091
Text of S.373: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/S373