SECTION 1. Section 1 of chapter 50 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the definition of “Municipal party” the following definition: -
“Offices of correction”, offices of the department of correction and offices of the houses of correction.
SECTION 2. Said section 1 of said chapter 50, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “vehicles”, in line 124, the following words: -, offices of correction.
SECTION 3. Subsection (d) of section 42G½ of chapter 51 of the General Laws, as appearing in section 4 of chapter 205 of the acts of 2018, is hereby amended by striking the subsection and inserting in the place thereof the following: -
(d) In accordance with the memorandum of understanding required by subsection (b), any applicant for services at an automatic voter registration agency who otherwise meets the qualifications to register to vote, and who does not decline to register to vote, but who is currently serving time for a felony conviction, shall be pre-registered as a voter.
In accordance with the memorandum of understanding required by subsection (b), each eligible applicant for services at an automatic voter registration agency who meets the qualifications to register or pre-register to vote and does not decline to register to vote shall be registered as a voter or pre-registrant under section 65 as of the date the registrar adds the person's name and address to the register of voters, pursuant to clause (4) of subsection (d) of said section 65; provided, however, that an applicant who meets the qualifications to register to vote, does not decline to register to vote and completes a qualifying transaction with an automatic voter registration agency not less than 21 days prior to an election shall be entitled to vote in that election.
SECTION 4. Said chapter 51 is hereby further amended by inserting after section 47C the following section: -
Section 47D. If after examination of an affidavit of registration it appears to the registrars that the person has all the qualifications to be registered as a voter except that such person is currently incarcerated for a felony conviction and the person has obtained the age of 16, then the registrar shall enter the person's name in the current annual register of voters with the designation “pre-registrant” or such other term or code as may be specified by the state secretary. The designation shall be removed when the person is released from incarceration for such felony conviction. No person preregistered under this section shall be allowed to vote until such person is no longer incarcerated for such felony conviction unless otherwise permitted by law.
SECTION 5. Section 64 of said chapter 51, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 3, the word “section 47A” and inserting in place thereof the following words: - sections 47A and 47D.
SECTION 6. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the chief justice of the supreme judicial court shall develop form language relative to voter registration status on conviction and such language shall be included in sentencing instructions read by a judge to a defendant. Such language shall be disseminated to district and superior court judges sitting in criminal sessions.
SECTION 7. The offices of correction shall submit implementation plans detailing compliance as a voter registration agency to the executive office of public safety and security pursuant to this act not later than January 1, 2022 which shall include, but not be limited to: (i) defining which staff members in each correctional facility shall be responsible for providing voter information to incarcerated persons; (ii) incorporating voter registration procedures in accordance with intake processes and reentry programming; (iii) methods for notifying persons incarcerated for misdemeanors of their right to continue voting while incarcerated; (iv) ensuring access to absentee ballot requests and submissions for individuals incarcerated for misdemeanors; and (v) methods of providing access to online voter registration.
SECTION 8. The state secretary shall develop and implement a program to educate attorneys, judges, election officials, correction officials, including parole and probation officers, and members of the public on the requirements of this act. Such program shall include, but not be limited to: (i) informing judges of their obligation to notify defendants of the potential loss and restoration of their voting rights, in accordance with section 6; (ii) informing probation and parole officers of their responsibility to notify probationers that their right to vote has been restored; (iii) developing a single publication which provides accurate and complete information to be shared publicly regarding the voting rights of persons who have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor.
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