I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some variation of this from friends & acquaintances…”I’m so glad that I live in such a progressive state. Massachusetts is doing such a great job.”
Well, sorry to say this, but reality bites. We just lost a state senate election to a Pro-Life, anti-Planned Parenthood Republican. He was running against a progressive woman. Alabama flipped a Senate seat blue, while Massachusetts flipped a local blue senate seat red.
Did you also know that Massachusetts is considered to be a ‘blocker’ state by RocktheVote.org? This means that a majority of state policies restrict voting rights. What? Who knew right?
Did you know that there are at least 2 bills in the current session aimed at restricting voting rights even further by requiring photo id in order to register to vote, or to vote at all? (H370 by Rep. Hill, and H372 by Rep. Brad Jones).
Have you tried to request an absentee ballot lately? It is not for the faint of heart. Our oldest daughter needs to vote by absentee ballot in November because she will be out of the country. I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out how she could do that reliably, but no success. We will both be investing more time to figure it out.
Should registering & voting be this complicated? I don’t think so. And right now, during this legislative session, we have the opportunity to pass Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) in MA. Not only does AVR make registering a non-issue (if you are eligible & have interacted with a government entity, like RMV or MassHealth, you are automatically registered when you turn 18!), it is secure, accurate and most importantly – it INCREASES VOTER TURNOUT! Find out more about AVR here>>
So what are you willing to do to get AVR passed this session? Here are a few ideas, for starters.
CALL YOUR REP and let them know you want them to support AVR, H2091. They are all up for re-election in 2018, so apply a bit of pressure! Take it up a notch by calling your Rep every week for the next 4 weeks, just to let them know you are paying attention. Auto Voter Registration Fact Sheet 2017.
CALL SPEAKER DELEO and ask him to bring H2091 to the floor for a vote! Same thing here – call once a week to keep up the pressure!
WRITE SOME POSTCARDS! Here is info about a ‘postcard party’ but who said it can’t be a ‘party of 1’? (Anyone interested, I have AVR themed postcards available – but really, ANY postcard will do!)
Come to LOBBY DAY at the State House on January 31, 2017. More info.
Let’s keep Massachusetts the progressive leader it should be – and let’s start with voting rights! And yes, for the record, I am extremely grateful to live in a progressive state like Massachusetts – but it won’t stay that way without effort, activism & WOKE FOLKS working together for our collective benefit.