Voter Registration Now Required by RMV


President Bill Clinton signing the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 into law, which provided the basis for recent Massachusetts VOTES Act. (Library of Congress image)

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has announcned that effective January 1, 2023, the RMV is no longer allowed to offer the option for customers to opt out of automatic voter registration.
The opportunity for driver’s license and ID applicants to decline automatic voter registration is no longer possible in accordance with “The VOTES Act,” a new election reform law which was passed by the Massachusetts State Legislature on June 22, 2022.
On each business day, the RMV will be required to transmit to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, specific applicant information on all eligible transactions with the RMV meeting the select criteria of persons attesting to U.S. citizenship and providing proof of lawful presence. Information that is sent to the Secretary of the Commonwealth will include the applicant’s name, date of birth, address, attestation of citizenship, and an electronic signature.
RMV customers will be allowed to decline voter registration after receiving the acknowledgment notice from their respective municipal election officials.
The RMV has revised its driver’s license and ID applications and the “Voter Registration Receipt” to reflect the new changes referenced above. To learn more, go online to: Automatic Voter Registration.

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Now that the Commonwealth has mandatory voter registration, will mandatory voting be next?

In 2019 an author used the CIA World Factbook to compile a list of the 22 countries which require eligible citizens to vote. The article details practices in each country and notes that in some places, Rio de Janiero being one, many votes consist of blank, unmarked ballots!

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