Voting Rights

Crucial voting reforms that have succeeded elsewhere in making the political process more open and democratic, such as ranked choice voting and same-day voter registration, have been held up by the Legislature for years. Here's where we're at now:

Massachusetts refuses to pass commonsense voter reforms that would make the right to vote accessible for every eligible voter in the state.

Same Day Voter Registration

Same-day voter registration has proven to increase voter turnout, especially among young voters and underrepresented groups. In a state like Massachusetts with a high percentage of transient voters who move frequently and young voters, this should be an obvious reform. However, the bill has been introduced session after session with no resolution, and in its latest form has had its reporting date extended to effectively the end of session. Same-day registration works, and the Legislature can't continue to keep pushing it off like this.

Universal Mail-in Voting

Even though we've seen this year that mail-in voting increases turnout especially among lower-income voters, young voters, and newly registered voters, the Legislature still hasn't acted to make sure no-excuse universal mail-in voting is the standard after the pandemic.

bills to support

Ranked Choice Voting

  • Establishes a ranked-choice voting system for all elections in Massachusetts

Same Voter Day Registration

  • Ensures that all Massachusetts residents that are eligible to vote are able to register to vote or change the address at which they are registered on Election Day

common questions:

Do ballots using ranked choice voting have more errors than traditional ballots?

No. Every election, whether it uses ranked choice voting or the traditional First Past the Post system, has the potential for error. But ballot errors are highest in traditional even-year partisan primaries, in which voters mistakenly vote for candidates from more than one party. Other states that have paired ranked choice voting reforms with widespread voter education to inform the public about the changes have reported less errors on average.

Does ranked choice voting favor incumbents and the wealthy at the expense of diverse candidates?

No. Ranked choice voting allows candidates to run without fear of being automatically eliminated in a low-turnout primary, as well as the opportunity to garner votes from voters who are no longer afraid of splitting or wasting their vote. This benefits candidates who may have similar platforms or appeal as other candidates on the ballot, but eliminates the risk that a voter would waste their vote by choosing their preferred candidate. In this sense, candidates with less of a fundraising advantage or who lack name recognition are still able to mobilize their bases to vote for them, disproportionately benefiting working class candidates and candidates of color.