Conservative Activists Working On Massachusetts Voter ID Ballot Initiative

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The Massachusetts state legislature does not have the appetite to enact voter ID in the Commonwealth.

But do the voters?

 Joanne Miksis of Wakefield and other conservative activists throughout the state are trying to make it happen. 

Miksis is spearheading an attempt to get a question on the 2024 Massachusetts ballot to require people to provide a photo ID to vote. MA Citizens for Voter ID is the name of the initiative.

Miksis said she is working on the initiative because she thinks voter fraud is a problem — and she wants to reduce instances of it.

“What we really need is single-day voting, paper ballots. No machines. No drop boxes. No mail-in. Of course, military and the sick would be the exception,” she told NewBostonPost in an email message. “There are 36 states that have Voter ID. In my opinion, it should be 50. No reason why we can’t get this done.”
“It’s been my hot button since 2020 to get this going,” she added.

Nationwide, voter ID is popular. A June 2021 Monmouth poll showed 80 percent of voters support it, including majorities of Republicans (91 percent), Democrats (62 percent), and independents (87 percent).

“The more time passes the more people I believe are waking up to what’s going on,” Miksis said. “Overall, our government is not doing what the majority in the country wants. And that’s getting more and more visible every day.”

Former Barnstable County commissioner Ron Beaty, a Republican who served from 2017 to 2021, is among those backing the effort. He plans to spend many days in October and November collecting signatures for the initiative.

He explained his support for the initiative to NewBostonPost via email:


I am inspired to be involved in this petition drive and effort because I support and believe in the sanctity of, and the respective precepts put forth within the content our United States Constitution, and Massachusetts State Constitution.
I strongly support this proposed law for a number of reasons. It increases confidence and credibility in the election process; and helps eliminate identity theft.
Moreover, it assures that the person casting a vote is verified as the person on the voter list. It also enables people without a Voter ID to sign an affidavit! attesting to identity, residency and citizenship. 
Additionally, it provides a voter identification process for individuals who vote by mail. 
Furthermore, It acknowledges the priceless value of a vote that determines. governance by we the people. 


Supporters of voter ID say that it’s necessary to secure elections and prevent voter fraud. Opponents argue that it’s an unconstitutional restriction that disproportionately disenfranchises poor and non-white voters and amounts to voter suppression — and that voter fraud is too rare to affect the outcomes of elections. 

While people may argue about how often voter fraud occurs in elections, it does happen in Massachusetts. In late June, NewBostonPost found a confirmed case of voter fraud by mail in the 2020 presidential election in the town of Bellingham, Massachusetts. There was also a confirmed case of double voting in the 2016 presidential election. A couple voted in Hampton, New Hampshire via absentee ballots in addition to voting in person in Belchertown, Massachusetts on November 8, 2016; they pleaded guilty to state voter fraud charges in December 2019.

There are 36 states with some form of voter ID laws. That includes many Republican-voting states, but also states that neighbor Massachusetts like Democratic-leaning Rhode Island and Connecticut, and battleground state New Hampshire.

For the voter ID measure in Massachusetts, petitioners have to collect at least 74,574 signatures from registered Massachusetts voters to get their initiative on the ballot. They started collecting signatures in early September and have until 14 days before the first Wednesday in December (November 22 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 (which is December 6 this year). 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 2024.

If the state Legislature doesn’t pass the measure before the first Wednesday in May 2024, then the process would continue. At that point, supporters must collect at least 12,429 more signatures from unique Massachusetts voters and file them with local election officials 14 days before the first Wednesday in July 2024 (which is June 19, 2024). Then, they must file certified signatures with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office by the first Wednesday in July 2024 (which is June 26, 2024). 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 2024 ballot.

Under former party chairman Jim Lyons, the Massachusetts Republican Party attempted to get a similar question on the 2022 ballot. However, the signature effort came up short

Those interested in getting involved with the initiative this fall can email [email protected] with their name, phone, and town; call 413-438-8637 and leave a message with their name, town, email address, and telephone number; or fill out the contact form on

Here is the exact text of the proposal:


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, residence, and citizenship, in which case such person shall be given a ballot.”


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