News Release

ADVISORY: Public Hearing on Legislation to Improve Massachusetts’ Elections

For Immediate Release


ADVISORY: Public Hearing on Legislation to Improve Massachusetts’ Elections
 
Joint Committee on Election Laws to Hear Testimony 
on VOTES Act H.805/S.459 on May 19 at 1pm

 
A major piece of voting reform legislation comes before the Joint Committee on Election Laws at their hearing on Wednesday, May 19 at 1pm. The hearing will include public input on An Act Fostering Voting Opportunities, Trust, Equity and Security or, the VOTES Act (H 805 and S 459) which is supported by over 100 local and state organizations. Bill sponsors, advocates, and election-law experts will testify in support of this landmark legislation, which will make our democracy more accessible and equitable through establishment of mail-in voting, early voting, same-day registration, and more. See our bill summary for details.


WHO: 
Senator Cynthia Stone Creem (First Middlesex and Norfolk)
Representative John J. Lawn, Jr. (10th Middlesex) 
Peg Perl, Director of Elections Arapahoe County, Colorado
John Lindback, Former Executive Director of ERIC States and Oregon’s Elections Division
John Marion, Executive Director, Common Cause Rhode Island
David Sullivan, Former Chief Legal Counsel for the Elections Division, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth; Senior Voter Protection Lawyer, Democratic Party
Geoff Foster, Executive Director, Common Cause Massachusetts
Cheryl Crawford, Executive Director, MassVOTE
Rahsaan Hall, Director of Racial Justice Program, ACLU
Janet Domenitz, Executive Director, MASSPIRG
Sophia Hall, Supervising Attorney, Lawyers for Civil Rights
Pattye Comfort, Executive Director, League of Women Voters MA
Beth Huang, Executive Director, Massachusetts Voter Table
Gladys Vega, Executive Director, La Colaborativa
Felipe Zamborlini, Policy Director, Rosie's Place
Darrin Howell, Political Coordinator, 1199 SEIU
Emily Rodriguez, Pioneer Valley Project

 

WHEN: 1pm, Wednesday May 19th, 2021

WHERE: Virtual Hearing; https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3725 

WHAT: Public hearing on the VOTES Act. The bill would:

  • make last year’s COVID-related elections changes permanent. Those changes made possible 2020’s record-breaking voter turnout, despite the pandemic.
  • enact same-day registration, which is used in 20 states and allows voters to correct or update their voter registration - or register for the first time - on the same day they cast their ballot.
  • update and improve the state’s Automatic Voter Registration laws.
  • provide for risk-limiting audits after all regular state primaries and elections. Risk-limiting audits are considered “the gold standard” of post-election audits.
  • ensure that eligible voters can exercise the right to vote even if they are incarcerated; for example, pre-trial detainees.
  • provide a time limit for constitutional challenges, and ensures that such legal challenges cannot be used to overturn election results.
  • create a deadline for the Secretary of the Commonwealth to fix the online portal for mail ballot applications.
  • require the Secretary of the Commonwealth to join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) by June 30, 2022.

The bill has over 100 legislative sponsors.  Organizations that have endorsed the VOTES Act include:

ACLU MA 

Action for Equity 

ADL New England 

American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts 

American Promise 

Amplify Latinx 

Arise for Social Justice 

Black Boston COVID19 Coalition 

Black Economic Justice Institute 

Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston, Inc. 

Boston Ten Point Coalition 

Boston Ujima Project 

Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association 

College Bound Dorchester 

Common Cause MA 

City Life / Vida Urbana 

City Mission, Inc. 

Coalition for a Better Acre 

Coalition for Social Justice 

Codman Square NDC 

College Bound Dorchester 

Community Action Works Campaigns 

Conservation Law Foundation 

Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative 

Edgartown Democratic Town Committee 

Environmental League of Massachusetts 

Equal Citizens 

ForwardMA 

Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution 

Freedom House 

Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association 

Generation Citizen 

Greater Boston Nazarene Compassionate Center Inc. 

Greater Boston Section-National Council of Negro Women 

GSM Labor Council 

Immigrants' Assistance Center, Inc. (IAC) 

Indivisible Martha's Vineyard 

Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition 

Indivisible Outer Cape 

iVOTE 

JCRC 

Jetpac Resource Center 

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action 

La Colaborativa  

La Comunidad, Inc. 

Lawrence Partnership 

Lawyers for Civil Rights 

Lift Every Vote 

League of Women Voters MA 

Lowell Votes 

Madison Park Development Corporation 

MAPS-Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers 

Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants 

Mass Equality 

Mass NOW 

Mass. Assoc. of Community Development Corporations 

Massachusetts AFL-CIO 

Massachusetts Against Solitary Confinement 

Massachusetts Communities Action Network 

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute 

Massachusetts Peace Action 

Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition 

MASSCreative 

MASSPIRG 

MASSPIRG Students 

MassVOTE 

Massachusetts Voter Table 

MITvote 

More Than Words 

NAACP-Boston Branch 

Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts 

Next Leadership Development Corporation 

Nonprofit Vote 

Planned Parenthood MA 

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church 

Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Massachusetts 

Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts 

Progressive Massachusetts 

Progressives for Democracy in America 

Project R.I.G.H.T. 

Providers’ Council- CareVote 

Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts 

Quincy Geneva New Vision CDC 

Racial Justice Rising 

Reclaim Our Democracy 

Roca Inc. 

Rosie's Place 

SEIU 1199 

Shana Bryant Consulting Services 

Small Planet Institute 

Sunrise Boston 

The Good Governance Project - BC Law 

The Greater Boston Interfaith Organization 

The Real Cost of Prisons Project 

The Women's Pipeline for Change 

Transformative Culture Project 

Union of Minority Neighborhoods 

Unitarian Universalist Mass Action 

UTEC Inc. 

VOTE New Bedford 

Voter Choice Massachusetts 

Worcester Interfaith 

Yes - Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance 

Young Demcorats of Massachusetts 

YWCA Malden 

YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts 

Support Us

Your donation supports MASSPIRG's work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code



MASSPIRG is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.