Lawmakers, Gov. Baker at odds over automatic voter registration

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Changes could be coming to the way you register to vote.

Last week, Governor Baker vetoed 4 sections of the supplemental budget regarding automatic voter registration but his decision didn’t go over well with members of the legislature.

Initially, state representatives and senators agreed to a January 1 roll out date for automatic voter registration.

Under the plan, Massachusetts residents would be able to register to vote or opt out when they interact with the Registry of Motor Vehicles and MassHealth.

But through the recently approved supplemental budget, legislators called for that date to be moved to April 1 which would have put it past the Presidential Primary in March.

Governor Baker overturned their decision and went with the initial January 1 date, saying,

“I cannot approve sections that would jeopardize the success of a program and require a substantial change to the voter registration process in the middle of an election cycle.”

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

The decision to roll out the program in the start of the new year is now final, because lawmakers will not have the option to override the governor’s veto when they return to formal sessions in January.

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