By Bob Katzen
The House 93-64, approved an amendment to a measure that would implement same day registration (SDR) that allows people to register to vote at the polls on Election Day and on any of the early voting days prior to the election. The amendment would replace SDR with a requirement that Secretary of State Bill Galvin complete a study that would analyze the cost of the proposed policy to the state, cities and towns and what it would take for local city and town clerks to implement SDR.
Under House rules, the approval of the study amendment prohibits a roll call vote on the straightforward establishment of SDR.
Supporters of SDR said that the study is simply a tactic by SDR opponents to delay the implementation of SDR and also avoid a direct vote on SDR itself.
Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa (D-Northampton), the sponsor of SDR, said it is an important tool that Massachusetts can use to increase voter access to the polls. “In 2021, we had one day of overlap when voters could vote early and register. There was not a flood of applications; just a few more people across the state who were able to exercise their civic duty. That small data point shows that this can work and [this roll call] vote shows that support for same day registration, already popular with voters, is growing amongst legislators as well.”
Some supporters of the amendment to replace SDR with the study by the secretary of state said the House should not implement SDR without having sufficient facts on its effects. Others expressed concerns about the ability of cities and towns to implement SDR rules without disruption.
(Beacon Hill Roll Call urges readers to read the following carefully and understand what a “Yes” and “No” vote mean on this roll call. The roll call was on replacing SDR with a study. Therefore, a “Yes” vote is in favor of the study of SDR. A “No” vote is against the study and in most cases in favor of SDR itself.)
Rep. Christine Barber No Rep. Mike Connolly No Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven No