Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that would bring voting into the 21st century. The bill allows voters to cast their ballot between 10 and 2 days before an election as well as register to vote online and on Election Day. The vote was 37 for and 1 against.
The Senate bill would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister, and mark a voter as inactive if they have not voted in two consecutive federal elections, rather than if they have not filled out an annual census. It also gives 17-year-olds in Lowell the opportunity to vote in local elections should Lowell voters approve the proposal.
Thankfully, the Senate rejected efforts to require voters to show photo identification in order to vote.
Since the Senate bill differs from the House version, they will need to reconcile the two bills before the final bill goes to the Governor. Reports are that Governor Patrick supports much of the bill.
Please thank your State Senator for voting for this bill and if you haven’t yet, please tell your Mass. House Rep. and State Senator to support Instant Runoff Voting (IRV). IRV would ensure that the winning candidate in any election has to get a majority of the vote, even when there are three or more candidates on the ballot.
Thanks to everyone who called their Senator and to the Election Modernization Coalition for their efforts in getting this bill through the House and Senate.