The election modernization coalition, which includes LWVMA, will be working this legislative session to remedy some of the remaining barriers to voting in the state. The key bill is S410, An Act making voting administrative changes to create equitable system solutions, the ACCESS Act, filed in the Senate.
The ACCESS Act has four sections:
- Same day voter registration will allow eligible citizens to register and vote when polls are open, both during early voting periods and on Election Day.
- Decoupling voter registration from the municipal census will mean voters who do not return a municipal census form will no longer be put on the inactive voter list.
- Enforcing disability access to polls will require inspection of all polling places and early voting sites at least once every four years, to ensure compliance with federal and state disability accessibility laws.
- Combining mail voting forms will require uniform mail voting applications, instructions, ballot styles, envelopes, and other papers and electronic documents, without distinguishing separate forms for early voting by mail and absentee voting.
In the House, the coalition has filed a separate bill for each of these sections, with language identical to the sections in the ACCESS bill. The House bills are:
- H688 An Act establishing same day registration of voters
- H707 An Act decoupling the municipal census from voter registration
- H701 An Act enforcing accessibility for voters with disabilities
- H656 An Act providing uniform mail voting forms
Note that we are advocating for same day voter registration (SDR), which will include early voting periods and Election Day, rather than Election Day registration (EDR), which would apply only on Election Day.
As you talk to your own state legislators, we ask that you urge them to support these election reform bills in this session.