HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS
To brace our elections for COVID19, MassVOTE helped ensure the passage of "AN ACT RELATIVE TO VOTING OPTIONS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19". This reform introduced numerous unprecedented reforms, such as vote by mail, expanded in-person voting options, and an expanded voter registration window.
As a result, Massachusetts saw record turnout in not one but two elections. In the September 1 State Primary, 37% of MA voters turned out: the highest rate in 30 years. In the November 3 General Election, 76% of MA voters turned out: the highest rate in 28 years.
Temporary reforms, like vote by mail, proved immensely popular, and have gained much momentum to become permanent.
- Successful implementation of Early Voting and Pre-registration
- Election Reform Bill signed into law, bringing online voter registration, audits post-election of voting machines, pre-registration of 16 and 17-year-olds, and early voting to Massachusetts.
- The SuperPAC Disclosure Bill becomes law, requiring SuperPACs to disclose their donors in a timely manner so voters know what interests are behind their spending.
- The Bilingual Ballot Bill for Boston, signed into law, ensuring for Chinese and Vietnamese speaking citizens.
- MassVOTE partners with The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in hosting the National Commission on Voting Rights New England hearing to discuss Boston’s voting challenges.
- Secretary of State Galvin posts downloadable, printable Voter Registration Forms, modernizing elections in Massachusetts (August).
- The State House and the State Senate both passed resolutions calling on Congress to move an amendment to the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling that corporations can spend unlimited money in elections (July).
- Pre-registration bill passes in the House, paving the way for election modernization and young voter engagement in Massachusetts by allowing sixteen- and seventeen-year olds to pre-register to vote. However, the bill fails to make it to the floor of the Senate (May-July).
- Boston City Council Unanimously Calls for an Amendment to Get Corporate Money Out Politics, Restore Democracy to the People (February).
- National Popular Vote bill passes in Massachusetts.
- MassVOTE brings nonprofits together to educate voters, coalition wins 2 major ballot fights for social services, affordable housing, protecting $1.5 billion in services.
- MassVOTE helps non-profits and service agencies across the state reach out to their constituents to make sure they are counted in the 2010 Federal Census ensuring that communities have equal political representation and get the federal money they deserve.
- Pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds is successfully voted out of the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Election Laws.
- On November 4, Boston saw the highest turnout since the 1960s. MassVOTE held a huge Get Out the Vote and Election Protection efforts.
- Election Day Registration is successfully passed of the State Senate, 33-5, before being stopped in the State House.
- February’s Presidential Primary sees the highest turnout in two decades.
- MassVOTE holds Eye on Democracy Video Contest, encouraging amateur filmmakers to document people’s voting experiences.
- MassVOTE works with Suffolk University to develop a new poll worker training, and helps recruit young, people, bilingual people, and people of color to be poll workers.
MassVOTE helped pioneer the successful passage of Automatic Voter Registration (AVR).
MassVOTE's advocacy helped lead to the implementation of online voter registration.
- Convened Election Modernization Coalition of 45 community organizations.
- Organized a Lobby Day at the State House with more than 100 participants speaking directly to their elected officials.
- Successfully saw both Massachusetts Senators Warren and Markey sign on as co-sponsors to a bill proposing an Amendment to the Constitution to overturn the Citizens United decision.
- MassVOTE hosts six community forums for the U.S. Senate, Mayor of Boston, and City Council seats.
- State House agrees to unprecedented public participation in redistricting (January).
- State Legislature passes new redistricting law, doubling districts where people of color have clout (December).
- City of Boston passes Home Rule to fix district lines for voters (October).
- Pressured by MassVOTE, Secretary of State clamps down on unfair challenges to Latino voters (April).
- “Show ID to Vote” Initiative Petition ruled unconstitutional by Massachusetts Attorney General after MassVOTE action (September).
- MassVOTE co-director Avi Green Appointed by Governor Patrick to Key State Committees to Protect Voting Rights.
- MassVOTE co-director Avi Green Honored by Boston NAACP.
- Veteran Voting Support Act passes, letting overseas service members send in scans of ballots via fax or email.
- MassVOTE leads successful coalition to seat an interim US Senator for Massachusetts, vote proves pivotal.
The roots of MassVOTE’s work can be traced to the fights for racial equality and voting rights that have been a part of American history for 200 years. More recently, MassVOTE’s work is connected to Boston’s difficult racial history, including the busing fights of the 1960s and 1970s, and to a tradition of progressive organizing in Massachusetts led by Mass Fair Share in the 1980s and by the Commonwealth Coalition and Mass Voters for Clean Elections in the 1990s.