Through litigation and advocacy, the ACLU is working to protect and expand access to the ballot, while fighting back against attempts to curtail an essential right in our democracy.
In 2014, then-Governor Patrick signed into law a set of important ACLU-backed measures, including early voting, online voter registration, pre-registration for 16-year-olds, and post-election audits to ensure every vote is properly counted.
The ACLU of Massachusetts also advocated for automatic voter registration, which passed in 2018. Automatic voter registration breaks down barriers to voting by automatically registering eligible Massachusetts residents through the Registry of Motor Vehicles and MassHealth. By modernizing how our voter registration system works, more eligible Massachusetts voters now have the opportunity to engage in the democratic process.
Despite these reforms, the fight for voting rights remains as critical as ever.
The 2020 election saw the highest levels of voter participation in US history, but the assault on the Capitol that followed was a reminder of just how fragile our democratic institutions really are. We are committed to shoring those institutions up.
On election days, the ACLU monitors polling sites for voter challenges and intimidation, and we provide voter registration information throughout the year. During the 2020 election, we trained and deployed hundreds of poll monitors for this purpose.
In 2022, the ACLU helped win passage of the VOTES Act. This law reflects the greatest expansion of voting rights in years, enshrining policies like universal mail-in ballots for all future state elections.
In 2023, the ACLU launched BIPOC to the Ballot Box, a non-partisan public education campaign aimed at building voter awareness and engagement in municipalities with large or growing Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Campaign canvassers knocked on over 2,500 doors to get out the vote for the 2023 municipal elections.
Voting rights depend on the principle of “one person, one vote,” which in turn depends on fairly drawn districts, empowering communities to elect people who truly represent their wishes. In Massachusetts and around the country, the ACLU will continue to defend this principle.
Visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website to register to vote, find your polling location, learn about your ballot, and more.