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Voter registration reform

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Summary
Sam Fleming reports on efforts to reform voter registration in Massachusetts
Topics
Presidents--Election, Voter registration, Civil rights, Segregation, Boston Election Department
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1:00:00: Visual: Footage of Jesse Jackson (African American political leader) speaking at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. Michael Dukakis (Democratic US presidential nominee) and Lloyd Bentsen (Democratic US vice-presidential nominee) stand on either side of him. Jackson talks about the importance of on-site voter registration. Sam Fleming reports that Jackson's platform slate has not been embraced by Dukakis; that Dukakis has agreed to work on voter registration. V: Footage of Yvonne Footman (Dorchester resident) registering to vote at a voter registration table in Dorchester. Registration workers examine her license and fill out a form. Fleming reports that many eligible voters in Massachusetts have never voted before. V: Footage of Fleming standing on a street in Boston. Fleming asks an African American man if he is registered to vote. The man says that he is not. Fleming reports that 27% of eligible voters in Massachusetts are not registered to vote; that the percentage of unregistered voters is highest in minority communities. V: Shots of residents walking near City Hall Plaza; of residents on the street in an African American neighborhood of Boston. Footage of Fleming asking an African American woman if she would vote if Jackson were on the ticket. The woman says no. Footage of Charles Weeks (Office of the Massachusetts Secretary of State) being interviewed by Fleming. Weeks says that some people do not think that their voices count. Fleming notes that Weeks is a former president of the Black Political Task Force. Fleming reports that Weeks says that voter registration is difficult in Massachusetts. Fleming reports that voters need to register at City Hall in Boston. Fleming notes that the Boston Election Commission is trying to set up portable voter registration centers. V: Shots of people walking near City Hall Plaza; of a voter registration table in Dorchester. Footage of Footman saying that she is not sure if she would have traveled to City Hall in order to register to vote. Shots of workers registering voters at the portable registration center in Dorchester. Fleming reports that State Election Officials say that Massachusetts is not doing enough to make voter registration accessible and easy for all. V: Shot of a bulletin board with voter registration information. Footage of David Sullivan (Office of the Massachusetts Secretary of State) saying that many voters in many states can register by mail; that four states have voter registration on election day; that some states allow voters to register at various state agencies. Sullivan says that Massachusetts has done none of these things. Fleming reports that a number of initiatives are under way on the state and national level; that an on-site, same-day voter registration initiative is under way. V: Shots of a poll worker sitting with a list of voters; of a voter entering a polling booth; of poll workers checking a voters name against the voter lists. Fleming reports that Massachusetts voters rejected an effort to allow registration by mail two years ago; that Massachusetts voters may resist other voter registration initiatives. V: Shot of Jackson at the Democratic Convention, flanked by Dukakis and Bentsen. Footage of Sullivan saying that a new law allows voter registration in high schools; that more needs to be done to improve access to voter registration.

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