The Massachusetts Senate passed the VOTES Act 36-3 Oct.6. The bill, now numbered S.2554, would make permanent the pandemic-related voting reforms used last fall, including no-excuse mail voting and expanded in-person early voting. It would also bring same-day voting registration to Massachusetts and enact reforms to enable eligible incarcerated citizens to vote.
The bill now goes to the House, where the Ways & Means Committee will draft its version of the bill for the House to vote on.
At an Oct. 13 lobby day, the Election Modernization Coalition, which includes LWVMA, urged Representatives to support same-day voter registration in the House bill. The House has turned down that reform in the past, but 20 states already offer same-day registration. It is time for Massachusetts to adopt it. Same-day registration would not only accommodate new voters, but would let current voters who find a glitch in their registration when they get to the polls correct that problem and vote.
You can read the coalition’s press release on the lobby day here.