SECTION 1. Section 76 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended, by striking out, in line 2, the words "and, if requested" and inserting in place thereof the following:-
valid photo identification issued by the commonwealth of Massachusetts or the government of the United States, as defined in section 76B, and
SECTION 2. Chapter 54 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended, by striking out section 76B in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 76B. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, "valid photo identification" shall mean a document that: (1) shows the name of the individual to whom the document was issued, and the name conforms to the name of the individual’s voter registration record; (2) shows a photograph of the individual to whom the document was issued; (3) includes an expiration date, and the document is not expired or expired after the date of the most recent general election; and (4) was issued by the commonwealth of Massachusetts or the government of the United States.
(b) (1) A person seeking to vote that does not provide sufficient valid photo identification, as defined in subsection (a) of this section, may be challenged under section 85 of this chapter.
(2) A person seeking to vote that does not provide valid photo identification, as defined under subsection (a) of this section, may cast a provisional ballot under section 76C.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny the rights of any individual who:
(1) is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. sections 1973ff-1 et seq.;
(2) is provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section 3(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1973ee-1(b)(2); or
(3) is otherwise entitled by federal law to vote otherwise than in person.
SECTION 3. Section 76C of Chapter 54 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding, after subsection (k), the following new subsection:-
(l) A voter who fails to provide valid photo identification as defined under section 76B and casts a provisional ballot shall be required to provide such identification in person to the city or town clerk, or elections board or commission, of the municipality in which they reside, within 8 business days from the date of the election in which the provisional ballot was cast. A voter who fails to provide such identification in the time specified shall forfeit that vote, and that provisional ballot shall be discarded.
SECTION 4: Section 92 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding, in line 5, after the words "eighty-seven," the following clause:--
as well as enclosing in the same envelope a copy of a valid photo identification, as defined in section 76B of this chapter,
SECTION 5. Section 8E of Chapter 90 of the General Laws, as most recently amended by chapter 170 of the acts of 2012, is hereby further amended by inserting, at the end of the first paragraph, the following sentence:-
The registry shall establish a waiver for indigent persons to obtain an identification card at no cost.
SECTION 6. Chapter 90 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting, after section 61, the following new language:-
Section 62. (a) The registry of motor vehicles shall establish a definition of "indigency" for the purposes of this chapter and uniform standards and procedures for the determination that: (1) a person is indigent and is unable to afford an identification card; or (2) a person is indigent, but has the ability to pay a reduced fee for an identification card. The definition and standards, and any amendments thereto, shall be used by the registry in determining eligibility for a free identification card. In the formulation of the definition, standards and procedures, the registry shall utilize: (1) the reporting system operated by the commissioner of transitional assistance for the purpose of verifying financial eligibility of participants in state or federally funded programs; (2) the accessibility of income data available from the department of revenue; and (3) verifying material assets through the registry of motor vehicles.
(b) A person claiming indigency under subsection (a) shall execute a waiver authorizing the registrar, or the registrar’s designee, to obtain the person’s wage, tax and asset information from the department of revenue, department of transitional assistance and within the registry of motor vehicles that the registry may find useful in verifying the person’s claim of indigency. The waiver shall authorize the registrar, or the registrar’s designee, to conduct any further reassessment required by this section.
(c) It shall be the responsibility of the registrar to ensure that a person claiming to be indigent meets the definition of indigency under subsection (a). A person seeking an indigency waiver shall be interviewed by the registrar or the registrar’s designee prior to the granting of a waiver. The person conducting the interview shall explain to the person seeking the waiver: (1) the definition of indigency; (2) the process used to verify the person’s information with other state agencies; and (3) the penalties for misrepresenting financial information in applying for an indigency waiver. The registrar or the registrar’s designee conducting the interview shall prepare a written indigency intake report that shall record the results of the interview and state a recommendation on whether or not the person seeking the waiver is indigent. The person seeking the waiver and the registrar or the registrar’s designee conducting the interview shall sign the indigency intake report. In signing the report, the person seeking the waiver shall certify under the pains and penalties of perjury that the information contained therein is true and that the person has not concealed any information relevant to the person’s financial status. All statements contained in the report shall be deemed material statements. The completed report shall be presented to the registrar who may adopt or reject the recommendations in the report, either in whole or in part.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.