Fox News and Breitbart.com attacked a Massachusetts effort to increase registration among eligible low-income voters. This is nothing new for Fox, which has also pushed for voter ID laws that would restrict voting rights for low-income voters.
Federal law requires states to help citizens who receive federal benefits such as food stamps register to vote. New England United for Justice, the NAACP, and others recently sued Massachusetts officials, claiming that Massachusetts was not providing registration help as required by federal law. Massachusetts officials settled the lawsuit.
The settlement requires Massachusetts officials to send voter registration forms to people who receive aid from government programs. Federal law requires states to help register citizens receiving such assistance. Agreements similar to the one reached in Massachusetts are already in effect in Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, New Mexico, Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado, and Mississippi. The Massachusetts agreement also requires the state to run informative voting public service announcements on TV and radio stations as well as in welfare office waiting rooms.
Fox Businees Host Stuart Varney, echoing a Breitbart.com article, reacted to the ruling by suggesting that the court ruling was a “spearheaded effort by the Democrats” to buy the votes of welfare recipients. Varney further claimed the $275,000 the state was spending to send registration information to 500,000 voters is “a form of buying votes with your money.” Varney failed to note that similar programs are being run in several other states.