MassVOTE’s Recommended Legislation for 2016-2017
Please support these measures to modernize election laws and promote free and fair elections.
We the People Act (Rep. Atkins and Sen. Eldridge H.3127: An Act for a U.S. Constitutional Amendment and Amendments Convention) – Once again calls on the U.S. Congress to pass a constitutional amendment affirming that Congress and the states can limit campaign spending and makes clear that corporations are not people with constitutional rights. If Congress does not propose an amendment within 6 months, this legislation petitions for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution by the state legislatures.
Re-precincting Boston (Rep. Michlewitz H.3321: An Act regarding Decennial division of wards and precincts in the city of Boston) – Remove Boston’s outdated special exemption from re-precincting after the Federal Census. Lack of re-precincting in Boston causes long lines of voters on Election Day and wastes funds and resources by having precincts of significantly different sizes. The Boston City Council sent a home-rule petition to the State House in 2011 requesting the removal of this exemption.
Electronic Registration Information Center (Rep. Moran H.582: An Act relative to the central registry of voters) – Keep voting lists up to date and target new voters through participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). State agencies will report data to the Secretary of the Commonwealth for the maintenance of the Central Registry of Voters.
Permanent Registration (Rep. Garballey H.554: An Act to establish permanent voter registration for registered voters who move within the Commonwealth; Sen. Chang-Diaz S.373: An Act to modernize voter registration and jury pool lists) – The State Secretary shall obtain data from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and the United States Postal Service to ensure that people who are registered to vote remain registered to vote when they change their address.
Election Day Registration (Rep. Fox and Rep. Benson H.553: An Act to establish election day registration; Sen. Creem S.377: An Act establishing election day registration) – An individual who is eligible to vote may register on the day of an election by appearing in person at the polling place, during the hours it is open for voting, for the precinct in which the individual maintains residence.
Modernizing the Re-precincting Process (Rep. Moran H.3233: An Act relative to reprecinting) – Using census block data, the commission will modernize the reprecincting process using an electronic geographic information system shapefile or equivalent containing every city and town ward and precinct within the boundaries of the approved congressional, councillor, senatorial, and representative districts.
Automatic Voter Registration (Rep. Kaufman H.3937: An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud) – Registration agencies, such as the registry of moter vehicles, will provide electronic records containing the legal name, age, residence, citizenship information, and the electronic signature of each person who meets qualifications to vote to the board of registrars of the city or town in which the person resides. This person will be registered as a voter as of the date that the registration agency collects this information.