Restrictive Photo ID Requirement for Voting Violates Freedom of Election Guaranteed by Massachusetts Constitution, According to AG Ruling

Release Date: 
September 7, 2011

In a victory for voting rights, a decision issued September 7, 2011 by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has denied certification to a proposed ballot initiative that would impose restrictive requirements for photo ID in Massachusetts elections.

The decision rests on Article 9 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which guarantees “the freedom of elections.”   The certification ruling likens the ID requirement to a poll tax because the proposed law makes no provision for qualified voters to obtain state-issued identification without paying a fee.