Automatic Voter Registration Coming to Massachusetts

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Automatic Voter Registration Coming to Massachusetts


Massachusetts residents will no longer have to make an effort to register to vote. Thanks to a new law, registering to vote will take place automatically when they interact with some state agencies. Supporters hail this is a progressive way to improve voter turnout. Others see it as a solution in search of a problem.


Under this legislation, when someone goes to the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles to do something like get a driver’s license, or when someone seeks medical care through the state’s MassHealth program, their voter information will be updated. If they are not registered to vote, they will be. If they are already registered, then their address or other information will be updated if it has changed. A person who is automatically registered will then be sent a letter to determine if he or she wants to register with a political party or opt-out of the registration.


Supporters of this bill say that there are hundreds of thousands of eligible Massachusetts voters who are not registered. Automatically registering them will help boost election turnout by making the voting process easier. Opponents say that it is not difficult to register to vote, so this bill is not solving any real problem. They also worry about whether this would make it easier for non-citizens to vote.


This law will take effect for the 2020 election.


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