Josh Zakim Statement on Secretary Galvin's Newfound Support for Automatic Voter Registration

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The following is a statement from Secretary of State candidate Josh Zakim on Bill Galvin’s recent decision to support automatic voter registration in the Commonwealth:

“I’d like to welcome Secretary Galvin to the side that supports automatic voter registration. It’s interesting that after literally decades of ignoring AVR amid plummeting voter turnout rates, the incumbent now sees the wisdom of it when he has an opponent in his re-election campaign.

“It’s too bad that several election cycles had to pass with no action from Secretary Galvin on AVR, likely costing hundreds of thousands of people in Massachusetts the opportunity to participate in government and have their voices heard. The numbers don’t lie - Massachusetts is in the midst of a 300,000-voter decline over the past 16 years.

“I have supported automatic voter registration since I was first elected to the Boston City Council in 2013. I’ve seen the positive effect it has had on registration in 15 states, including our neighbors in Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island. I sponsored and successfully ushered through a Boston City Council resolution endorsing it last year. Why the incumbent hasn’t tried to do this during his 23-plus years as our state’s chief elections official, until today, is as confounding as it is disturbing.

“Of course, there are other reforms I’m proposing in this campaign that the Secretary is actively working against. He inexplicably continues to appeal the Suffolk Superior Court ruling that our current registration system is unconstitutional, which would also have a significant impact on turnout. His answer to expanded early voting is five days at the end of August. He has remained curiously silent on our proposal to allow for weekend voting.

“I am running because I have the energy and fresh ideas needed to increase access to our government for everyone. Voting is our most basic civil right, and Massachusetts residents deserve a Secretary of State who will remember that every single day.”