On May 31, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Election Law Reform Bill, the first legislation of its kind to get any traction in over a quarter century. Unfortunately, the bill has stalled upon its arrival to the Senate.
This reform bill is composed of common-sense legislations that will make our elections safer and make the democratic process more inclusive.
It includes a provision for a downloadable PDF of the voter registration form to facilitate the registration process. Also, it will reduce our state’s printing cost.The bill also will ensure the integrity and accuracy of our state and federal election results by mandating the random selection and audit of three percent of precincts statewide.
Another component of this reform bill is the pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds, so that they would be prepared to vote after their 18th birthday. As a young adult, I appreciate this provision because it facilitates the registration process and it will make our democracy embrace the youth. Also, tapping into this block of future voters will make our elected officials aware the issues affecting them.
I urge Senators John Hart and Michael Rush, as well as their colleagues, to support and pass this bill prior to the conclusion of this legislative session.
Ricardo J. Fernandez
My condolences and prayers go out to the victims and families of victims who were affected by this random and senseless act. While we still don’t know much about how this happened, we do know that we have laws in this country that allow people who have no business ever possessing a firearm to get their hands on guns.
We have a Columbine, a Virginia Tech, a Tucson, an Aurora theater every day in America. Thirty-four people are killed with guns every single day in America. And yet, we will see a few weeks of media attention that forces politicians to express their condolences, but then no action is taken in Washington to fix the problem.
The fixes are easy and they are common sense. It’s about enforcing existing federal laws and making sure we don’t let criminals buy weapons. We need to put a background check on all sales and require states to step up their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make sure we have a check that works.
Maybe this will finally wake up Washington. We are going to keep the pressure on because this just has to stop.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino