State House News — Election reforms would allow pre-registration to vote
By Kyle Cheney, State House News Service
Posted Mar 22, 2012
Sixteen- and 17-year-olds would be allowed to “pre-register” to vote and voting equipment randomly audited under a package of election law changes that a Beacon Hill committee advanced unanimously on Wednesday and expects will be taken up by the Legislature before formal business expires in July.
The bill’s supporters said they narrowed it to four components that they believed could win consensus in the House and the Senate. In addition the pre-registration, the bill includes random audits of voting equipment at 3 percent of the state’s precincts each election cycle, as well as an online, printable voter registration forms that supporters said would provide easier access for prospective voters. The proposal also would require municipal election officials to receive annual training in election administration.
Bill sponsors say they hope the audits and the online form will be enacted in time for this year’s presidential election. Pre-registration, they said, would be implemented in 2013 under the bill.