The Legislature on Monday sent to Gov. Charlie Baker a bill that would institute automatic voter registration in Massachusetts. Under the bill, an eligible voter who applies for a license or identification card at the Registry of Motor Vehicles or completes a transaction at MassHealth or the Health Connector would be automatically registered to vote. “We think it is one of the strongest automatic voter registration bills in the country,” said Pam Wilmot, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts. “If signed by the governor, it will make voting more accurate, secure and participatory.”
The bill, H.4834, passed the House by a vote of 134-16 on Friday and the Senate, 36-0, on Monday.
The secretary of the commonwealth would be authorized to enter into agreements with other state agencies to register voters, as long as the agencies collect proof of age, residency and citizenship. The secretary’s office would provide all the necessary forms, training and information to partner agencies.
Voter information would be transmitted electronically, which advocates for the bill say will make the voter rolls more accurate. For example, someone who changes their address at MassHealth or the Registry of Motor Vehicles would have their voter registration updated automatically.