Zakim's Voter Access Proposal Heard by Council's Committee on Government Operations

Monday, March 26, 2018

BOSTON -- District 8 City Councilor Josh Zakim (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Mission Hill, Fenway-Kenmore, West End) today told the Council's Committee on Government Operations that his proposal to eliminate barriers to voter registration in the city will increase access to government for thousands of Bostonians.

Zakim's proposal would automatically register eligible Bostonians to vote when they apply for a resident parking sticker. It further requires high schools, school welcome centers and libraries to make voter registration forms available and visible in central locations.

"We need to do everything we can to encourage more people to register to vote and, on Election Days, to get out and vote," Zakim said. "We heard at Saturday's March for Our Lives that the best way to demand change is to get people to vote. Automatic Voter Registration and making it easier to register are logical steps in that direction."

Zakim filed the proposal last fall after holding a hearing in the Committee on Civil Rights to examine ways the City of Boston could make voter registration easier. Additionally, he offered a resolution endorsing AVR legislation currently pending in the state legislature. That resolution was unanimously adopted by the Boston City Council in October 2017.

"From banning smoking in bars to restricting the use of plastic grocery bags, the City Council has a proud history of leading the way for all of Massachusetts," Zakim said, "I hope this will be the case with AVR. It's too important an issue for our Commonwealth."