Massachusetts Republicans File Born-Alive Protection, Voter ID Ballot Questions With Attorney General’s Office

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Two members of the Massachusetts Republican Party took an initial step toward getting a pair of ballot questions onto the November 2022 ballot late last week.

Tatyana Semyrog and Bernadette Lyons filed paperwork with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office on Friday, July 30 to get their questions approved by the office.

Semyrog, a Duxbury Republican who ran for state representative against incumbent state Representative Josh Cutler (D-Pembroke) last year, chairs the Committee to Bring Voter ID to Massachusetts. Lyons, wife of MassGOP chairman Jim Lyons, chairs the Massachusetts Newborn Protection Coalition.

Semyrog’s ballot question seeks to enact a voter ID requirement in Massachusetts. Lyons’s ballot question seeks to reinstate the right to emergency medical care for babies born alive during an attempted abortion.

Semyrog said that voter ID is common across the country and is a way to ensure fair elections in this state.

“Voter identification laws are something that the overwhelming number of Americans support, yet Massachusetts is one of just 14 states where voters aren’t required to show at least some proof of who they are in order to vote,” Semyrog said in a MassGOP press release. “It should be easy to vote and hard to cheat, and I think this proposal is a commonsense way to ensure election integrity.” 

Lyons said the born-alive initiative is common sense.

“It’s the humane thing to do,” Lyons said in the MassGOP press release. “Guaranteeing that newborns receive lifesaving medical care immediately following birth should be a fundamental right.”

MassGOP chairman Jim Lyons said that these are two issues that have broad appeal and attract support from people across the political spectrum.

“These are important issues that voters deserve to have the opportunity to weigh in on,” Lyons said in the press release.

Ballot initiatives must be filed with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office by Wednesday this week.

If the Attorney General’s office finds that the language of a ballot initiative passes muster with the Massachusetts Constitution, then the signature gathering process follows.

Petitioners have to collect at least 80,239 signatures from registered Massachusetts voters to get their initiative on the ballot. They can start collecting signatures by mid-September and have until 14 days before the first Wednesday in December (November 17 in this case) to file those signatures with local elections officials. Then, they must file the signatures certified by local election officials with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office by the first Wednesday of December. There is one caveat, however:  no more than one-quarter of these certified signatures can come from any one county in the state.

If supporters  meet the threshold, the Massachusetts Legislature would formally receive a proposal for the designed legislation in January 2022.

If the state Legislature doesn’t pass the measure before the first Wednesday in May 2022, then the process would continue. At that point, supporters must collect at least 13,374 more signatures from unique Massachusetts voters and file them with local election officials 14 days before the first Wednesday in July 2022. Then, they must file certified signatures with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office by the first Wednesday in July 2022. The rule limiting signatures from any one county to one-quarter of the total applies at this stage, as well.

If supporters can do all of that, then the measure will make the ballot in the next statewide general election — in this case the November 2022 ballot.

Here is the proposed wording of each of the two ballot measures:



Be it enacted by the People, and by their authority:

Chapter 54 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following Section 163:

“To affirm the integrity of the electoral process, before being given a ballot on election day at a polling place, each prospective voter must present identification to a properly designated poll worker, which identification must have been issued by a branch of the United States government or of the Commonwealth or by a tribal authority recognized by either the United States or the Commonwealth and must include a picture of the prospective voter. Should any person fail to present such identification, he or she may choose to execute an affidavit attesting to his or her identity and residence, in which case such person shall be given a ballot.



Be it enacted by the People, and by their authority:

Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding section 110D:    

“Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, if a child is born alive, all reasonable steps, in keeping with good medical practice, shall be taken to preserve the life of the child born alive.”


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