BOSTON — Arguing enhanced efforts to ensure the identity of voters could disenfranchise some people, House Democrats yesterday agreed to a further study of the issue, disappointing Republican lawmakers who believe their proposal will root out voter fraud.
The House voted 104-43 to send the issue to study, including a look at the costs of the proposal, during debate on a $212 million supplemental budget.
The vote followed a lengthy debate about voting rights and voter identification. Rep. Viriato deMacedo, R-Plymouth, introduced an amendment to the mid-year spending bill that would require voters to show identification at the polls - a proposal that failed Wednesday when the House passed a package of election reforms.
Democrats immediately offered a further amendment to send the idea to study - an oft-used tactic by House Speaker Robert DeLeo's leadership team that Republicans refer to as an "inoculator" because it prevents a vote on the underlying issue. DeMacedo has filed the bill for the past 12 years.