Voter rights activists are hoping the Massachusetts Senate will pass electoral reforms next year after the House approved online registration and early voting measures. The legislation approved by the House now goes to the Senate when it comes back in session in January. The bill calls for voters to be able to vote up to 11 days ahead of the traditional Tuesday Election Day in presidential elections and allows for online registration in addition to the traditional paper methods of registration. Early voting is viewed as a major win by voter advocates, who say it can increase voter participation — the holy grail of voting reform.
“I think it will have a great impact,” said Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, executive director of MassVOTE. “Can you imagine having 11 days to vote instead of one day, a Tuesday — a work day?”
“I think early voting would increase voter turnout tremendously.”
Clyburn Crawford views online registration as a common sense measure to make it easier for voters to register in a world in which doing things online has become second nature — and also something that can be a big boost in attracting younger voters to the political process.