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Massachusetts Senate unanimously passes automatic voter registration bill

Massachusetts Senate unanimously passes automatic voter registration bill
© Greg Nash

A Massachusetts bill to enact automatic voter registration is one step closer to becoming law after the state Senate voted to approve it this week.

The Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously to pass the bill on Thursday, according to Mass Live.

The House passed a different version last month, and the chambers will have to hammer out the differences before sending the bill to GOP Gov. Charlie Baker.

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"It should be the state's burden to register voters - not yours," said state Senate President Harriette Chandler (D) in a statement.

The bill would automatically register citizens to vote when they register at motor vehicle offices or sign up for state health insurance.

The bill, which lawmakers hope will be implemented before the 2020 elections, is expected to register an estimated 680,000 voters.

More than a dozen other states have enacted similar systems, including New Jersey and Washington.

The Massachusetts bill would also increase the penalty for voter fraud to a fine of up too $10,000 or a five-year prison sentence.