Push For Automatic Voter Registration In Mass. Continues Despite Loss Of Key Proponent

Mar 5, 2018

Supporters of automatic voter registration in Massachusetts said the proposal still has traction despite the recent death of a leading advocate. 

The program would automatically register citizens to vote during interactions with the Registry of Motor Vehicles and MassHealth, though people could opt out.

State Representative Peter Kocot of Northampton, who died in February, filed the House bill that would authorize the initiative.

Pam Wilmot is the executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts, which supports the effort.

"His voice will be a big loss," Wilmot said. "Even though that loss is tremendous, it is a bigger institution than even one giant of a man, so we're carrying on as best we can."

Wilmot said there are almost 700,000 eligible citizens statewide who aren't registered to vote.

On Wednesday, Massachusetts lawmakers will hear from the former secretary of state of Oregon, which became the first state to implement such a program in 2016.