The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Massachussetts, and others filed a lawsuit in Massachussetts challenging the state’s requirement that eligible voters register 20 days before an election. The arbitrary deadline interferes with the fundamental right to vote and unnecessarily disenfranchises voters.

The groups asked the Suffolk Superior Court to declare the 20-day deadline for registering to vote in advance of the election unconstitutional and allow the clients to vote in the election on November 8. This arbitrary deadline interferes with the fundamental right to vote and unnecessarily disenfranchises voters. The suit asked specifically in the short-term for several individual voters to be able to vote this election. The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU of Massachussetts, the ACLU National’s Voting Rights Project, the the law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, on behalf of several individual named plaintiffs, the Chelsea Collaborative and the organization MassVOTE.

“Many states currently recognize that voter registration deadlines are unnecessary, arbitrary, and obsolete in a digital age," said Sean Young, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "States across the country are adopting Election Day registration. It is time for Massachusetts to abolish its 20-day arbitrary cutoff and remove this obstacle once and for all.”

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