Ready to Vote? The Senate Needs To Hear From You

UPDATE! On 1/16/2014, the Mass. Senate voted overwhelmingly for an incredibly robust Election Reform bill, which included very strong reforms: voter registration, early voting, pre-registration for 16 year-olds, post-election audits of voting machines, Election Day registration, permanent voter registration and inactive voting reform. The bill now goes back to the House, which passed a much more limited reform bill, and if they don't pass it as is, it will go to Conference Committee. So the journey is not yet over -- stay tuned for updates

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Earlier this year the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, a major protection against racial discrimination in voting.  After that decision, many states passed anti-voter legislation.  And North Carolina repealed Election Day registration, cut back early voting, and got rid of pre-registration for teens.   People were outraged.  But all North Carolina did was return to Massachusetts-level election laws.  Massachusetts has never had any of those voting reforms. 

In November 2012, Massachusetts voters waited in lines of up to two hours to cast their votes.  Others could not wait and left without voting. Still others could not vote because of inactive voting lists, registration glitches, or their inability to obtain an absentee ballot.  Massachusetts -- a trailblazer for democracy and a technological innovator -- should be the leader in holding smooth, efficient, and fair elections. Instead, unnecessary roadblocks deter legitimate voters.  Massachusetts lags far behind much of the country in election modernization.  States such as Idaho, Indiana, Wyoming and Louisiana do better.

In November, 2013, the House passed a disappointing election reform bill.  Since then Progressive Mass and other advocates have pushed our friends in the Senate to adopt additional reforms like pre-registration for 16 year olds, audits to protect the integrity of our elections and even, election day registration.

Today we learned that expanded early voting and pre-registration are in the bill.  And Senator Anthony Petruccelli will be filing amendments to cover post-election audits and election day registration.

The vote is this Thursday.

It's not too late to call your Senator and tell them to support a strong election reform bill that includes online voter registration and early voting as well as pre-registration, post-election audits, and Election Day registration.   

At a time when voting rights are under attack across the country, shouldn’t Massachusetts take a stand to expand voting rights? 

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