Massachusetts has the 9th worst voting system in the country according to RockTheVote’s 2011 scorecard and many barriers remain for enabling students and young professionals to get registered.
That’s why Young Democrats of Massachusetts are proud to support three bills that can help young people get registered and stay registered.
But, for these bills to make it through committee and get passed, your state representative and state senator needs to hear from you!
- A proposed amendment provided by Pamela Julian of the Help Students Vote! coalition to the On Campus Student Voter Registration/Civic Education (SB00299): All Massachusetts public high schools and public colleges shall offer all eligible voters an opportunity to register to vote on all public high school and public college campuses twice per academic year. Administrators may choose to work with voter registration advocate organizations to establish the on campus student voter registration/civic education system mandate twice per year in the fall (within the first three weeks of fall classes) and spring (before graduation) to provide students with voter registration materials/hold civic engagement forums, educate students why voting matters and deliver completed (coded by the Massachusetts Secretary of State office) voter registration forms to the appropriate city and/or town clerk’s office. Each education institution will implement the on campus student voter registration civic education system mandate subject to individual campus culture and logistics. (There is no need to hire additional personal. The only expected cost is a 44 cents postage stamp paid for by the student or deducted from a student fee).
The proposed amendment to Senate bill No.00299 is authored and sponsored by The Help Students Vote! Coalition, Pamela Julian, Director. Premise of bill supported by Governor Deval Patrick, Young Democrats of Massachusetts, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, MASSVOTE, Massachusetts Student Advisory Council, Project Vote, Rock the Vote, Progressive Democrats of America-Massachusetts Chapter, ACLU, many legislators and voter registration advocates.
SB00299 Chief Sponsor, State Senator Cynthia Creem, co-sponsors, State Senator Patricia Jehlen, State Representatives: Edward Coppinger, Alice Hanlon Peisch, and Frank Smizik.
- An Act Relative to Age Requirements in Local Elections (HB00192): "Every citizen seventeen years of age or older who is a resident in the city or town where he or she claims the right to vote at the time he or she registers, and who has complied with the requirements of this chapter, may have his or her name entered on the list of voters in such city or town, and may vote therein in any election for officers in such city or town…"
Chief Sponsor and Vice Chair Committee on Election Laws, State Representative Sean Garballey, co-Sponsors: State Representatives: Alice Wolf, Cory Atkins, Timothy J. Toomey Jr., Carl M. Sciortino Jr. Supported by Help Students Vote! Coalition and many voter registration advocates. (This legislation will inspire young voters to civically engage on campus, in their communities and beyond and to learn the importance of voting in local elections).
- An Act Relative to Pre-Registration of Voters (SB00302): “a person who is otherwise qualified may pre-register on or after that person’s sixteenth birthday and may vote in any election occurring on or after that person’s eighteenth birthday…”
Pre-voter registration will occur at the registry of motor vehicles when young eligible voters visit the registry of motor vehicles to apply for a motor vehicle license.
Chief Sponsor and Vice Chair Committee on Election Laws, State Senator Sal DiDomenico, Chief Sponsor and Chair Committee on Election Laws, State Representative Michael J. Moran, State Senator Cynthia Creem, State Senator Katherine M. Clark, State Senator Karen Spilka, State Senator Kenneth Donnelly, co-sponsors, State Representatives: Thomas M. Stanley, Marty Waltz, Kay Khan, Alice Hanlon Peisch, Gale Candaras, Denise Andrews, Denise Provost, Linda Dorcena Forry, Gloria L. Fox, Jennifer E. Benson, Elizabeth Poirier, Cory Atkins. Supported by Young Democrats of Massachusetts, MASSVOTE, Help Students Vote! Coalition, and other voter registration advocates.