Archives for August 2017

Election Modernization Coalition Statement on Illinois Governor Rauner’s Signing of Automatic Voter Registration Bill

Boston, MA/August 28, 2017–Today, Illinois became the tenth state, along with the District of Columbia, to successfully enact automatic voter registration (AVR). Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed into a law a bill that creates more accessible and secure elections by automatically registering voters unless they opt out of the program. The bill won bipartisan support and passed unanimously in the legislature earlier this year.

The new law will add roughly one million new eligible voters to the voter rolls. Similar laws in other states have been proven to increase turnout and make elections more secure by modernizing the voter registration process. It is a common sense and long overdue reform.

As organizations that have worked tirelessly together for many years to remove barriers to voting, we applaud the action of Governor Rauner and the Illinois state legislature and call on the Massachusetts legislature to pass Automatic Voter Registration in our state. As the cradle of liberty, Massachusetts should lead the way towards removing unnecessary barriers for voting and ensuring that every Bay Stater has a voice in our democracy.

Pam Wilmot, Common Cause Massachusetts

Meryl Kessler, League of Women Voters, Massachusetts

Beth Huang, Mass Voter Table

Janet Domenitz, MASSPIRG

Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, MassVOTE

Jonathan Cohn, Progressive Massachusetts

A pdf of this statement is available here.

 

LWVMA Statement on Charlottesville and Boston Rallies

Boston, MA/August 18, 2017–As our nation grapples with the terrifying and tragic events in Charlottesville, and as the City of Boston braces for a “Free Speech Rally” on the Common tomorrow, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts (LWVMA) must speak out.  For almost 100 years, the League has been a nonpartisan defender of democracy.  While we cherish the individual rights of free speech and assembly, we feel a special responsibility to make our voice heard when those rights are used to incite hate and violence, and when they serve as tools to divide our nation rather than unite us as a free people.

Representing 3,000 members in over 100 Massachusetts communities, LWVMA strongly and unequivocally condemns racism, bigotry and violence.  With one voice, we reaffirm our commitment to these core, democratic values: promoting social and economic justice, securing equal rights for all, and combating discrimination and poverty.

We applaud Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for taking a coordinated and clear stand against hateful rhetoric, intimidation, and violence and for reminding us all, in Boston and the Commonwealth, of what we stand for: civil rights, equality, unity in our diversity, love, and justice for all.  As Boston readies for tomorrow’s rally, let us all keep these greater goals in mind and work together to achieve them.

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts Board and Staff