SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1813        FILED ON: 1/16/2015

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 377


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Cynthia S. Creem


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act establishing election day registration.






Cynthia S. Creem

First Middlesex and Norfolk

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Tricia Farley-Bouvier

3rd Berkshire

Carmine L. Gentile

13th Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Benjamin B. Downing

Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden

Eric P. Lesser

First Hampden and Hampshire

Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex

Marjorie C. Decker

25th Middlesex

Sonia Chang-Diaz

Second Suffolk

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Mary S. Keefe

15th Worcester

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1813        FILED ON: 1/16/2015

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 377

By Ms. Creem, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 377) of Cynthia S. Creem, Ruth B. Balser, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Carmine L. Gentile and other members of the General Court for legislation to establish election day registration.  Election Laws.


SEE SENATE, NO. 314 OF 2013-2014.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Eighty-Ninth General Court



An Act establishing election day registration.


Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide for election day registration for citizens of the Commonwealth and to make related changes in certain laws, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 51 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the last sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:-  A person otherwise qualified to vote for national or state officers shall not, by reason of a change of residence within the commonwealth, be disqualified from voting for such national or state officers in the city or town from which the person has removed residence until the expiration of 6 months from such removal, provided further, that a person having changed residence shall be eligible to register under section 34A. 

SECTION 2. Section 3 of said chapter 51, as so appearing, is hereby amended, by inserting, after the word, “registration” in lines 7 and 16, the following words:- , or in accordance with the provisions of section 34A.

SECTION 3. Chapter 51 of the General Laws, as amended by Chapter 111 of the Acts of 2014, is hereby further amended by inserting after section 34 the following section:-

Section 34A.   (a) An individual who is eligible to vote may register on any day during a voting period, including the day of an election and the early voting period set forth in Section 25B, by appearing in person at the polling place for the precinct in which the individual maintains residence on election day, or by appearing in person at an early voting site for the city or town in which the individual maintains residence during the early voting period, during the hours it is open for voting, by completing a registration application in a form prescribed by the state secretary which complies with identity requirements of 42 U.S.C. section 15483, by presenting to the appropriate election official proof of residency and by making a written oath which shall be as follows:  I certify that I: am a citizen of the United States; am at least 18 years old; am not under guardianship or otherwise prohibited from voting; am not temporarily or permanently disqualified by law because of corrupt practices in respect to elections; have read and understand this statement:  I further understand that giving false information is a felony punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.

(b)  For purposes of this section, the term “proof of residence” shall mean 1 of the following, so long as it includes the name of the applicant and the address from which the applicant is registering:

(i) a valid photo identification including, but not limited to, a Massachusetts’ driver’s license or other state-issued identification card; or

(ii)  other documentation demonstrating the name and address where the applicant maintains residence and seeks to register including, but not limited to, a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, residential lease agreement, wireless telephone statement, paycheck, other government document or correspondence, a current student fee statement or other document from a post-secondary educational institution that verifies the student’s current address.

(c) Upon meeting the identity requirements of subsection (a), production of proof of residence, and the making of an oath sufficient to support registration, the ballot clerk or designee of the ballot clerk shall permit the applicant to vote on the day of an election or the early voting period and the registrar or designee of the registrar shall place the applicant’s name and address on the annual register of voters as soon as reasonably practicable following the date of the election or the early voting period as prescribed by the state secretary.  Any person who registers to vote on the day of an election or during the early voting period in accordance with this section shall, absent disqualification, be registered to vote at all subsequent primaries and elections.

(d)  The state secretary shall make available, to the election officers, to the extent possible, at each polling place, access to the central registry of voters set forth in section 47C.  For the purposes of this section, a printed copy of all voters registered to vote in that precinct as of the last day of the registration period, as required by sections 55 and 60, shall be sufficient.

(e) A registered voter shall not re-register on the day of an election or the early voting period for the exclusive purpose of altering the party affiliation of that voter.

(f) The state secretary shall adopt regulations to implement the relevant provisions of this chapter.

(g) Upon credible information or allegation of illegal voter registration, or credible information or allegation of illegal multiple voting, there shall be an investigation upon the merits of said information or allegation by the attorney general, or by the district attorney having jurisdiction over the municipality in which the alleged illegal registration or illegal multiple voting occurred.  Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as excluding enforcement of this section by any means otherwise provided by law.

(h) Violations of this section shall be punishable under sections 8, 26 and 27, of chapter 56.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon July 1, 2015 and shall be implemented for the 2016 biennial state election and the 2016 presidential primary.