Voting Access Scorecard – The franchise project

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Voting Access Scorecard - Massachusetts

The Franchise Project’s Voting Access Scorecard ranks how accessible voting is in Massachusetts. The Voting Access Scorecard measures the accessibility of American elections by analyzing state election laws and practices. Each state’s performance is based on 30 measurable metrics shown to affect accessibility and foster participation. All metrics are weighted equally to fairly assess all states and their practices. If answered in the affirmative, each metric is worth 1 point, for a total of 30 points. Note that if a practice varies by county or municipality, e.g. the number of early voting locations in Wisconsin, the state only received 0.5 points for that metric. Note: Y=Yes, N=No, and V=Varies by Municipality/County.

Currently, Massachusetts ranks 23. You can make a difference! Take action now!

Overall score: 17 / 30

Y=Yes, N=No, V=Varies by County/Municipality

State registration deadline is the Friday before Election Day or later
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
N
State offers Election Day registration
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
N
State has automatic registration
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
N
State does NOT create barriers to voter registration by third parties (e.g. allows third party registration, does not require registration drive training or notification)
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
Y
State does NOT impose fines or criminal penalties for negligent/accidential voter registration mistakes
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
Y
State offers early voting/in-person absentee voting in multiple locations per municipality/county
Locations set by local officials. 950 CMR 47.00: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawlib/900-999cmr/950cmr47.pdf
V
State offers early voting/in-person absentee voting during evenings and/or weekends
Hours set by local officials. 950 CMR 47.00: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawlib/900-999cmr/950cmr47.pdf
V
State allows no-excuse early voting/in-person absentee voting
950 CMR 47.00: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawlib/900-999cmr/950cmr47.pdf
Y
State holds all elections entirely by mail
950 CMR 47.00: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawlib/900-999cmr/950cmr47.pdf
N
State does NOT require an excuse to vote by mail
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howabs.htm
N
State deadline to return absentee ballot is NO earlier than Election Day (via any type of delivery)
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howabs.htm
Y
State allows all voters to sign up to vote by absentee permanently
Only permanently disabled voters can sign up to vote by permanent absentee. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 54, §86: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleVIII/Chapter54/Section86
N
State allows voters to request vote by mail ballot online
Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleabsentee/absidx.htm
N
State allows voters to register online
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/
Y
State allows voters to check their Election Day polling location online
Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://wheredoivotema.com/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx
Y
State allows voters to check their vote by mail status online
Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.wheredoivotema.com/track/trackmyballot.aspx
Y
State does NOT require a Photo ID to vote on Election Day
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidreq/idrequirementsidx.htm
Y
State does NOT require a Photo ID to vote early or by mail
Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/lawlib/900-999cmr/950cmr47.pdf
Y
If ID required, State allows voter to vote through alternative process that does not require voter action (Note: full points received if no ID required at all)
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidreq/idrequirementsidx.htm
Y
During voter maintenance process, if address has not changed, state allows voter to simply mail back confirmation form
Massachusetts General Laws chapter 51, sections 37 and 37A: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleVIII/Chapter51/Section37 and https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleVIII/Chapter51/Section37A
Y
State is NOT a member of Interstate Crosscheck
Bryan Caskey, Kansas Secretary of State, Director of Elections (email communication, May 24, 2017)
N
State is Member of ERIC
ERIC, http://www.ericstates.org/whowear John Lindback, ERIC Executive Director (email communication, May 25, 2017)
N
State refused to comply with the Pence-Kobach voter registration data request
Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/06/secretary_of_commonwealth_bill.html
Y
State allows individuals to vote when their sentence is complete
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
Y
State allows individuals to vote during their term of incarceration
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
N
State allows individuals to vote after incarceration, while on probation or parole
Secretary of the Commonwealth: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm
Y
State voting technology requires a paper trail
Massachusetts has not established a statutory requirement for permanent paper trail. Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elevotingprocess/votingprocessidx.htm
N
State requires poll worker training
Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elevotingprocess/votingprocessidx.htm
N
State law requires voting machines to meet federal standards, testing by a federally accredited laboratory, or federal certification
Mass. Gen. L. ch. 54, § 32: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleVIII/Chapter54/Section32
Y
State provides readily accessible voting technology information
Secretary of the Commonwealth: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elevotingprocess/votingprocessidx.htm
Y

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