Local city and town clerks are looking for guidance as the state develops methods and regulations to automatically register eligible voters in time for the 2020 presidential elections. “I think it’s going to unfold as we get closer,” said Fitchburg City Clerk Anna Farrell. “We want everything to be clear as we move forward.” Gov. Charlie Baker signed the law to enact automatic voter registration earlier in the month. The Registry of Motor Vehicles, MassHealth, and the Health Connector will be the agencies that automatically register residents who meet the qualifications to vote. There is an option to opt out.
Automatic registration is expected to be in place before the next presidential primary, said Debra O’Malley, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Bill Galvin, whose office oversees voting and elections. There are a lot of steps along the way and a work will begin soon, she said.
“It’s going to require significant training for local election officials, people at the agencies, and security upgrades,” O’Malley said.
The law says the state secretary will need to train all agency staff, provide forms, and equipment to carry out voter registration while complying with state and federal laws.