(The Center Square) Deciding whether foreign nationals can obtain a driver’s license is one decision Massachusetts voters will be making next month.
On the Nov. 8 general election ballot, voters will be asked to respond to Question 4, which would change who is authorized to receive a driver’s license under state law.
The controversial change could open the door to an erosion of election integrity in the deep-blue state, which has sometimes surprised political prognosticators by putting Republicans into high-level offices.
Although Massachusetts does not require voter ID, it is necessary under some circumstances, including an individual’s first time voting, or under the reasonable suspicions of a poll worker.
The push comes as open-borders activists in the state simultaneously push for non-citizen voting in state elections, but that, along with the driver’s licenses, could muddy the waters on illegals attempting also to vote in national elections.
The bill is scheduled to take effect July 1, 2023.
A “yes” vote by voters would uphold the bill, repealing a provision under state law reading, “No license of any type may be issued to any person who does not have lawful presence in the United States.” A “no” vote repeals the bill.
Under the bill, registrars for drivers’ licenses and motor vehicle registrations are prohibited from inquiring an applicant’s citizenship or immigration status, except under federal statute where applicable.
Certain documents, according to the bill, would be acceptable in order to verify the person’s identity, including date of birth. Acceptable documents include valid unexpired foreign passports, valid unexpired Consular Identification documents, and a second document which could include a valid unexpired driver’s license from any U.S. state or territory.
An original or certified copy of a birth certificate can be accepted, along with a valid unexpired foreign national identification card, or a valid unexpired driver’s license, marriage certificate or divorce decree from any state or U.S. territory.
The bill also mandates that any information, or communication, that is given to a registrar by an applicant, which includes proof of lawful presence, is not considered a public record and it can’t be disclosed by the registrar.
Fellow New England states Connecticut and Rhode Island have similar laws on the books, as do 15 other states and the District of Columbia.