Massachusetts Senate backs modernized system for registering voters

The new system is designed to make it easier for people to register and vote in elections.

People vote early in Boston City Hall on Oct. 24, 2016.
People vote early in Boston City Hall on Oct. 24, 2016. –Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has joined the House in approving a system designed to make it easier to register and vote in elections.

The bill passed unanimously by the Senate on Thursday would automatically update a person’s voter registration when that person notifies a state agency like the Registry of Motor Vehicles of a new address or other change in status.

Those automatically registered to vote will then be notified by mail of the opportunity to choose a political party or to decline to register.

Procedural votes are still needed in the House and Senate, but the bill could be on Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk by next week.

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If it becomes law, Massachusetts would join 13 other states and the District of Columbia with automatic voter registration systems.