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January 16, 2014 / needhamgrassroots

Significant Election Reforms Pass MA Senate

vote cartoonBoth Needham Senators, Michael Rush and Richard Ross, voted for final passage of the historic Election Modernization/Reform bill on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. This legislation is a vast improvement on the half-hearted House version passed last year. The Senate bill includes these terrific policy reforms;

  • Election day registration
  • Random audits of voting machines
  • “Sticky” voter registration — where your registration follows YOU when you move

“Sticky” registration is the most envelope-pushing of the reforms. Three Cheers for MA as vanguard, once again, in democracy (we had been slipping behind!).

As noted elsewhere, it’s often difficult to see the real differences between legislators only by looking at the final passage of a bill. Significant political work is done before final passage — during the amendments.  Notable amendment votes during the election modernization vote:

VOTER ID

Terrible policy that disenfranchises voters. Needham Senator Mike Rush has spoken in favor of voter ID in the past, but he did NOT vote for it today. This is an encouraging sign, and we should thank him. Unfortunately, Sen. Richard Ross voted FOR voter ID.

ELECTION DAY REGISTRATION

This was not in the bill to begin with, but was added as an amendment. Sen. Rush voted FOR it and should be thanked. Sen. Ross voted AGAINST.

‘STICKY’ REGISTRATION

Again, not in the bill at first but added as amendment. Sen. Rush voted FOR it; Sen Ross voted AGAINST.

Now the legislation goes to Conference Committee and then back to the House. Urge Rep. Denise Garlick to push and vote for a bill as strong as the Senate’s — with same day and sticky registration, and with NO voter ID.

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