Massachusetts’ highest court will hear arguments Tuesday in two major election-related cases. The Supreme Judicial Court will consider a challenge to a Massachusetts law that requires voters to register at least 20 days before an election. It will also consider a separate case challenging a campaign finance law that prohibits businesses from making political contributions. In the voter registration challenge, Chelsea Collaborative vs. William Galvin, a group of voting rights organizations and individuals argue that a 1993 law requiring voter registration 20 days before an election is unconstitutional.
Attorneys for Chelsea Collaborative, MassVote and several individual plaintiffs argue that for qualified voters who miss the deadline, “This law is a sledgehammer.” Rather than just requiring additional vetting, the law prevents qualified voters from voting if they do not register in time.
“The Voter Cutoff Law runs headlong into the Massachusetts Constitution, which expressly protects an individual’s fundamental right to vote,” the voting rights groups wrote in a court brief.