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Image courtesy Office of Sen. Adam Hinds

Mass. Senate passes automatic voter registration

By Friday, Jul 13, 2018 News

Boston — Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, announced that the Massachusetts Senate Thursday unanimously passed H.4671, “An Act automatically registering eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud,” by a vote of 38-0. The legislation creates a framework in which eligible voters will be automatically registered to vote when receiving services from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, MassHealth and other participating state agencies. The framework will be overseen and implemented by the secretary of state.

The legislation also bolsters voter-data security. It updates the requirements for transmission of voter registration affidavits and requires the secretary of state to promulgate regulations to ensure registration is done through electronic transmission, with data security protocols and integration with the online portals.

The legislation increases penalties associated with voter fraud. It orders that whoever knowingly provides false information in connection with automatic voter registration shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

The legislation will now go back to the House of Representatives for consideration, where automatic voter registration was passed in June by a vote of 131–20.

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