Zakim Will Move Secretary of State’s Office Forward
I will admit that until Josh Zakim started campaigning for secretary of state, I didn’t realize how regressive our voting rights were in Massachusetts. Zakim is advocating for same-day voter registration, automatic voter registration, weekend elections, and no-excuse absentee voting. These changes seem like a no-brainer to me.
Why hasn’t the current secretary pushed to implement any of them? Why did he suddenly support them when he had a challenger who did?
Often we are reminded that voting is both our right and our obligation as citizens, but voter turnout remains barely above half of the voting population. We need to address the root causes of this issue, making registration and voting easier for all Massachusetts voters -- young and old, employed, students, and busy parents.
I have also learned that the office of the secretary of state is the keeper of records, but Massachusetts currently has a failing grade on access to those records and lobbying disclosure. Access to data is more important than ever -- we need to have solid, data-based decisions, yet we have to request and pay for that data, making it inaccessible to most. Josh Zakim is also proposing to change this when he becomes secretary of state.
Massachusetts has been and continues to be a leader on so many important and progressive issues. I’m proud of our record, but embarrassed that we have not make the same strides in voting rights and access to records. This lack of progress lies squarely at the feet of the current secretary of state who has held the position for 23 years.
I hope everyone remembers this when they vote in the Sept. 4 primary. William Galvin has an opponent, Josh Zakim, for the first time in more than a decade. And he needs to be reminded that keeping people from voting is the worst way to get them to vote for you.