Massachusetts Democrat Pushing Voter ID Bill

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Should you have to show an ID to vote in Massachusetts elections?

A Democrat in the Massachusetts legislature thinks so. State Representative Colleen Garry (D-Dracut), filed a bill (H.687) that would require people to show identification to vote.

Here is what the bill says:


SECTION 1. Section 76 of Chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence in its entirety and replacing it with the following sentences:— “An election officer shall ask each voter desiring to vote at a polling place for his full name and current residence address and repeat the full name and address stated by the voter. The officer shall ask the voter to present any one of the following forms of identification: his Commonwealth of Massachusetts voter registration card, his social security card, his valid Massachusetts driver’s license, or any other identification card issued by a government agency by the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; or any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the voter and issued by an employer of the voter in the ordinary course of the employer’s business.”


Here is the sentence of law the bill would eliminate:


Each voter desiring to vote at a polling place shall give his name and, if requested, his residence to one of the officers at the entrance to the space within the guard rail, who shall thereupon distinctly announce the same. 


The bill has five co-sponsors, all of whom are Republicans. 

Garry explained her support for voter ID to left-leaning Politico in July 2021.

“I am afraid of fraud,” Garry told Politico. “I’ve always thought that we should ensure that the right people are voting.”

The liberal publication then accused Garry of sounding like former President Donald Trump in its article. However, Garry said election integrity is not a partisan issue.

“We need to stop going partisan on every single issue and look at the facts,” Garry told Politico. “Someone can walk in and fake who they are and vote.”

Voter ID supporters say 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. 

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 bill is a re-file. Garry filed the bill last session, but the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Election Laws killed it by sending it to study in September 2022.

Garry could not be reached for comment on Monday or Tuesday.


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