By Bob Katzen
The House 32-126, rejected an amendment that would require voters to show a federal or Massachusetts picture identification at their polling places in order to be allowed to vote. The state would also be required to establish a waiver of the fee for obtaining the ID for indigent persons.
Supporters said it is illogical that all voters are not required to show identification prior to voting and noted that 24 other states have laws requiring IDs. They argued that people cannot cash a check, rent a car, fly on a plane or even enter some government buildings without showing an ID.
“I filed this amendment to protect the integrity of every U.S. citizen’s vote in Massachusetts while providing the opportunity to get a free picture ID for those who don’t have one,” said sponsor Rep. Paul Frost (R-Auburn) “A free ID avoids the issues and barriers of a so-called poll tax, while making sure each voter is who they say they are when voting.”
Opponents of the amendment said it would disenfranchise thousands of voters including people who do not have a current address because they are in a homeless shelter or domestic violence facility. Other opponents said there have been no widespread reports of voter fraud in Massachusetts.
(A “Yes” vote is for requiring a voter ID to vote. A “No” vote is against requiring it.)
Rep. Christine Barber No Rep. Mike Connolly No Rep. Erika Uyterhoeven No