Josh Zakim Statement on House’s Passage of Automatic Voter Registration Legislation

June 27th, 2018

The following is a statement from Josh Zakim on the House’s passage of legislation establishing Automatic Voter Registration in Massachusetts:

“The members of the House should be commended for overwhelmingly passing the Automatic Voter Registration legislation today. We’re now hopeful the Senate and Governor Baker follow suit in approving this bill, at long last. Automatic Voter Registration is a major step forward in making it easier for eligible residents to vote across the Commonwealth.

“Our campaign for Secretary of State has focused on expanding voting rights and ensuring that Massachusetts residents have access to their government. While Automatic Voter Registration is a huge win for democracy, there is much more than we can and should be doing here in Massachusetts.

“For more than two decades, there has been a lack of leadership on voting rights, and as a result Massachusetts is in the unfamiliar position of being a follower instead of a leader. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have Automatic Voter Registration, which has resulted in millions of new people being registered to vote across the country.

“Furthermore, 17 states have Election Day Registration, but we are not one of them because Secretary Galvin continues to pursue an appeal of the Superior Court ruling which called the current 20-day voter registration cutoff period arbitrary and unconstitutional. I hope today’s vote, and Secretary Galvin’s newfound and expedient support for voting reforms, will prompt him to drop that appeal immediately.

“Lastly, I’m hoping the Legislature will consider taking up the other electoral reforms I support, including expanding early voting, ranked choice voting, weekend voting and embracing no-excuse absentee voting. Turnout in non-presidential elections has dropped precipitously over the last 20 years, and we, as elected leaders, need to do everything we can to make it easy for people to exercise their most basic civil right, the right to vote.”