At a time when some states are restricting access to the polls, following the demise of the Voting Rights Act, Massachusetts is moving to empower voters. Last week, the state Senate agreed to reforms that hold the potential to increase participation in elections and modernize how voting takes place. The bill goes now to a conference committee with representatives of both the Senate and House, whose members have passed similar legislation. We think state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg of Amherst, the Senate’s majority leader and future president, is right to declare that his chamber’s vote last Thursday represents the most significant election reform in two decades. As with the “motor voter” legislation in the early 1990s, which allowed voters to sign up through the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the new legislation is designed to streamline and simplify the process of voting.