To the editor:
I was thrilled to see The Eagle-Tribune endorse same-day registration in its Sept. 19 editorial. But to build off of your case, I wish to stress just how crucial same-day registration is to boosting voter turnout.
According to Demos, a national think tank, same-day registration increases voter turnout among Black and Latino voters by as much as 17%. This would prove extremely beneficial for the Merrimack Valley, which is home to proud, diverse cities that unfortunately suffer from low voter turnout rates.
For example, in the 2020 presidential election, the state voter turnout rate averaged 76%. But in Haverhill, it reached only 68%. In Lawrence, it plummeted to 53% — one of the lowest rates in the state.
Additionally, the New York Times has noted that same-day registration boosts youth voter turnout by as much as 10%.
This is especially important in Massachusetts, which is home to 500,000 college students – 91% of whom are from out-of-state. These individuals, who move to Massachusetts and seek to vote in their new communities, should be allowed to register and vote on the same day.
To boost voter turnout in our minority and youth populations, Massachusetts should waste no time in passing same-day registration. The state can best do so through the VOTES Act, introduced by state Sen. Cindy Creem and under consideration as S. 459.
Same-day registration isn’t “complex.” It’s common sense.
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford