ACLU challenges state’s voter registration deadline

Superior Court judge lets plaintiffs in lawsuit cast provisional ballots for Election Day.

Sign outside of Frederick Harris School in Springfield, one of several polling locations.
Sign outside of Frederick Harris School in Springfield, one of several polling locations.

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Superior Court judge issued an order Monday afternoon allowing three Massachusetts residents to cast provisional ballots on Election Day, despite missing the October 19th voter registration deadline.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is challenging the state’s Voter Cutoff Law that requires a person to register to vote 20 days before the election. In their lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the voter registration deadline is unconstitutional because it prevents thousands of people from voting in Tuesday’s election.

People who registered to vote on October 19th were able to participate in early voting five days later, but those who registered on October 20th aren’t able to vote 20 days later on Election Day.

A Superior Court judge is allowing these three voters to cast provisional ballots that may or may not be counted as the case moves forward. The head of the Elections Division, Secretary of State William Galvin, said he won’t comment on a pending lawsuit.

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