Senate Passes Election Reform Bill

by | Jan 17, 2014

BOSTON – The Senate on Thursday, January 16th voted 37-1 to pass legislation reforming the election laws in the Commonwealth by authorizing early voting for state and federal elections and primaries, allowing residents to register to vote on Election Day and creating an online voter registration system, Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury) announced. The bill also allows 16 and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote.

“This legislation will bring much needed modernization to the Commonwealth’s election system,” stated Senator Moore. “The bill takes important steps to streamline our voting processes and participation, which should increase voter turnout in Massachusetts. It ensures that the Commonwealth will remain a cradle of liberty and a bedrock of democracy for the nation!”

Under this bill, Massachusetts would join 32 other states and the District of Columbia that allow early voting. Early voting would begin 10 business days before the election and end two days before the election. The first early voting period would occur in 2016.

This bill would also place voters on the inactive list only after not voting in two consecutive federal elections and not responding to a notice from the city or town. Under current law, a voter can be placed on the inactive list for not filling out an annual census. If a voter does not vote in two additional federal elections, the voter will be removed from the voter list.