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WMass Lawmaker Wants Revamped Voter Registration System

Peter Kocot of Northampton, Massachusetts, represented parts of Hampshire County in the state legislature.
Mark M. Murray
The Republican / masslive.com/photos
State Representative Peter Kocot of Northampton. Mass.

A western Massachusetts lawmaker wants to make it easier to get on the state's voting list -- especially for the approximately 700,000 people eligible to vote who are not registered.

State Rep. Peter Kocot of Northampton is spearheading a bill that would change the way people register to vote through state agencies like the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Currently, citizens can choose to opt-in to the voter registration list. The proposed system would sign them up automatically -- and allow them to opt-out if they don't want to be on the voting rolls.

In contrast to the Trump administration's claims of voter fraud, Kocot said there's a greater risk voters are being silenced. 

"Efforts to suppress voters registering and folks voting will be countered with a very 21st century voter registration and list that's going to be very, very difficult to cause mischief with," Kocot said.

Kocot said the proposed system would be less expensive than the current one. He said he's hoping the bill will be up for a vote in the fall.

Karen Brown is a radio and print journalist who focuses on health care, mental health, children’s issues, and other topics about the human condition. She has been a full-time radio reporter for NEPM since 1998.