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Finegold's Election Laws Legislation Passes Senate

The bill allows early voting and online registration.

The Massachusetts Senate Thursday passed a comprehensive election law reform bill sponsored by State Sen. Barry Finegold, and that means you may soon be able to vote early and register online.

Finegold, the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws, has pushed for election reform for years.

"The fundamental right to vote is the bedrock of civic engagement and democracy," Finegold said in a statement Thursday. "The legislation passed by the Senate today takes significant steps to update our election laws for the modern Massachusetts family."

Some highlights of the bill include:

  • Authorizing early voting for state and federal elections and primaries.
  • The creation of an online voter registration that also informs people about their registration status and polling places.
  • Allowing 17-year-olds to vote in municipal elections in Lowell if voters in Lowell approve that measure.
  • Eliminating requirement of a polling place check-out desk.
  • Establishing an elections task force to review costs of elections, wait times and technology.
  • Requiring audits of voting machines.

The bill now moves to conference committee with the House to draft a compromise bill.

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