On same-day registration, Mariano says “we’ll see what happens”

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – The House will “need another vote” on election reforms this session, House Speaker Ronald Mariano said Monday as he pointed out that representatives already rejected a same-day voter registration proposal last year.

The Senate will debate a bill on Wednesday that would make mail-in voting and expanded in-person early voting permanent features, allow voters to register and cast a ballot on the same day, and improve ballot access for people with disabilities and incarcerated voters. As senators look ahead to that debate, Mariano looked back to past House actions.

In June, the House approved a supplemental budget amendment that would have permanently authorized mail-in voting and early voting before biennial elections. A year earlier, representatives rejected an amendment to a COVID-era voting bill that would have allowed Election Day registration with a 16-139 vote.

“As you know, we have taken a vote on a lot of the things that are in that bill now and specifically the mail-in portion,” Mariano said. “Obviously, we’ll wait and see what comes over in the form of the bill that we’ll get from the Senate. We have taken a vote on the same-day amendment. We’ll see what happens when we begin the debate.” “We need another vote,” he added. “The votes we took in the House were not complete.”

Existing mail-in voting and expanded early voting provisions are set to expire on Dec. 15 without action to extend or replace them, which could push any special elections or spring contests back to pre-pandemic voting patterns after more than a year with new options available.

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