The Massachusetts Senate approved electoral reform measures aimed at making it easier to vote, register to vote and monitor the accuracy of towns’ voting systems. The reforms include measures allowing early voting in state and federal primary elections, Election Day registration and automatic re-registration of voters when they move within Massachusetts. “The bill passed by the Senate takes important strides toward a more inclusive Commonwealth, removing unnecessary barriers to the ballot box,” said state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz in a statement. The legislation brings voter rights activists closer to their goal of modernizing the Massachusetts voting system, much of which has been shaped by the limitations of 19th and 20th century technology.
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, executive director of MassVOTE, an organization that has been leading voter reform efforts in Massachusetts for more than 10 years, says that modernizing the state’s electoral system will help increase voter participation.
“We are one step closer to achieving our goal of full access for citizen participation in the electoral process in Massachusetts,” she said.
“The goal is higher turnout,” said state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry. “Higher turnout is critical.”
Under the new legislation, voters will be able to cast ballots in state and federal primaries up to 10 days prior to an election day and will be able to register online through an online database.