Thursday, May 23, 2024

We are grateful to Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and the Cambridge City Council for unanimously passing a policy order Monday, per our request, in support of the Votes Act pending in the Massachusetts Legislature.

As residents of Cambridge and leaders in a statewide Election Modernization Coalition that includes MassPIRG/Common Cause, the state’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter, the Massachusetts Voter Table and other organizations, we have made passage of the act, which includes several important reforms, a top priority.

While all of us are seasoned advocates and know that a bill in the Legislature rarely comes out exactly as it went in, the key components – same-day registration, permanent mail-in voting, jail-based voting reforms and a deadline for state enrollment in the Electronic Registration Information Center – are long overdue. All are commonsense, imperative pieces we need to make voting in Massachusetts more accessible, efficient and modern. We note that 20 other states have paved the way on same-day registration and shown it to be uniquely effective at improving equitable access to the ballot and increasing electoral participation by voters of color. As well, there is strong support for it, as recent polling shows.

As such, we are working to mobilize voices from all corners of the state to push for this bill’s passage. We are grateful that a City Council policy order in support of the Votes Act can now be part of that effort.

Janet Domenitz, Alpine Street; Gavi Wolfe, Merrill Street; Beth Huang, Berkshire Street; David Sullivan, Notre Dame Avenue