(BOSTON) – On Thursday, August 9th, a bill establishing an automatic voter registration process for the State of Massachusetts was signed into law. With the implementation of automatic voter registration, the legislature seeks to facilitate civic engagement for the 700,000 residents of Massachusetts who are eligible to vote but are unregistered.

“The democratic process requires broad civic engagement that reaches across all demographics to ensure that all are represented and heard.” said Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull).  “Automatic voter registration is a convenient process that will promote participation among all eligible citizens.”

The bill, H.4384, An Act relative to automatic voter registration, contains provisions that would link voter registration to initial applications and information updates to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and MassHealth. Rather than requiring eligible voters to opt-in to register, this provision would instead create an opt-out process for eligible residents who may not wish to register to vote. This measure will take effect on January 1, 2020.