Massachusetts’ voters will be able to cast their ballots up to 11 days before Election Day beginning in 2016, under a new law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday. Additionally, the new law allows 16-and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, in an effort to help encourage teens to continue voting through their adulthood. The new law also requires an online portal to check voter registration status and allows postelection audits of randomly selected precincts after presidential elections.
“The NAACP applauds Gov. Deval Patrick for embracing a law that expands access to the ballot box for more citizens. This is a great step forward for Massachusetts’ voters and an example that governors throughout the nation should follow,” states Jotaka Eaddy, Senior Advisor to President & CEO and Senior Director of Voting Rights at the NAACP. “Voting is the foundation of our democracy and its imperative that citizens of every race, color and creed have unfettered access to the ballot box.”
“This new voting law is about giving more people access to the ballot box and encouraging youth participation in future elections. We applaud Gov. Deval Patrick for signing a bill into law that puts Massachusetts at the forefront of expanding voter participation,” said Juan Cofield, President of the NAACP New England Area Conference. “Whenever more people have an opportunity to vote, our democracy is strengthened.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here. Visit the Cape Cod chapter here.