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Lawsuit Challenges Voter Registration Deadline In Massachusetts

A new lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Massachusetts challenges the voter registration deadline of 20 days before the election. (Joe Difazio for WBUR)MoreCloseclosemore
A new lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Massachusetts challenges the voter registration deadline of 20 days before the election. (Joe Difazio for WBUR)

Should Massachusetts residents be allowed to register to vote closer to Election Day?

That's the question in a new lawsuit filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

The group's director of racial justice Rahsaan Hall says the current registration deadline — 20 days before Election Day — is arbitrary and has exemptions.

"The registration cutoff was Oct. 19 — only five days before early voting started, yet all those people are allowed to vote even if they registered on the last day before the voter cutoff," Hall said.

The suit seeks to allow three people the opportunity to vote next week.

The secretary of state's office says it does not comment on pending litigation.

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Jonathan Cain produces WBUR's All Things Considered and afternoon newscasts. He came to WBUR after working for 14 years as an Emmy Award-winning television news producer at NECN in Newton and WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.

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