Automatic voter registration in Massachusetts signed into law

Boston Statehouse

Governor Charlie Baker signed a new law allowing automatic registration for Massachusetts voters.

Under the law, eligible people will be automatically registered to vote when they have transactions at the RMV or through MassHealth.

According to Secretary of State William Galvin, the systems will be in place to begin automatic voter registration by 2020, in time for the next presidential primaries.

Under the bill signed by Gov. Baker Thursday, unless a person specifically declines to be registered, their name and address will be added to the list of voters in their town.

One South Hadley resident said the move could get more people involved in the election process, and improve voter turnout.

“I just don’t think people think they have the time to register,” said Jen of South Hadley. “I do think the automatic voter registration is going to be a good thing, especially for young voters, and it’s so important for young people to get out and vote.”

Once voters have been automatically registered, local election officials will be in touch to give you the opportunity to choose a party, or decline to register. If you update your address with the RMV or MassHealth, your voter registration will be automatically updated.

The RMV and MassHealth both check citizenship, which is why they can automatically register voters.

Under the bill, Secretary Galvin can expand the auto registration to other agencies in the state.

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