Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

February 6, 2014

Election reform bill a credit to Sen. Finegold

Editor, Townsman:

Last month, the Massachusetts Senate passed a groundbreaking election modernization bill. It is one of the strongest — if not the strongest — bills on this subject to pass any legislative body in the U.S.

Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, the Senate chairman of the Election Laws Committee and lead sponsor of the original bill, deserves a lot of credit for making it as strong as it is. Thanks to his leadership, and to that of Senate President Therese Murray, Massachusetts is well on its way to becoming a leader in expanding opportunities to vote and in bringing our election laws into the 21st century.

Interestingly, the bill anticipated the president’s bipartisan Commission on Election Administration, which released its consensus recommendations just after the Senate acted. The Senate bill contains every recommendation: online voter registration, early voting, permanent voter registration and post-election audits. It also includes proven reforms that increase voter participation, like Election Day registration and pre-registration.

Kudos to Sen. Finegold for his great work. The Election Modernization Coalition looks forward to working with him to persuade the House conferees to include all of these important reforms in the final bill.

Pam Wilmot

Common Cause Massachusetts

Sara Brady

MassVOTE

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