Massachusetts: House approves early voting, online registration | WWLP

November 21, 2013

The House voted 141-10 Wednesday to approve legislation authorizing early voting in presidential elections and online registration in Massachusetts, major changes that supporters claimed will broaden voter engagement. House Election Laws Committee Rep. James Murphy (D-Weymouth) said the panel had heard “loud and clear” the call for reforms to expand access to voting. The bill also calls for municipal clerk training and creates task forces on implementation of election audits and to study early voting following its implementation in the 2016 election. “It is an important moment in the history of election laws and for voting here in the Commonwealth,” said Murphy, who predicted early voting and online registration would lead to shorter lines at the polls on Election Day. Rep. Linda Campbell (D-Methuen) called the bill’s passage a “long time coming” and predicted the changes, if enacted into law, would prove particularly useful to individuals with disabilities, senior citizens and people who travel abroad for business. Election reform advocates say 19 states allow online voter registration and early voting is available in 32 states.