Mansfield Board of Selectmen vice chairman Olivier Kozlowski is bringing forth a new petition that, if approved, would require the presentation of a government issued identification in order to vote in Massachusetts.
Kozlowski said that the initiative is designed to help minimize voter fraud.
"The goal is to protect the integrity of our voting system," he said. "While no system is perfect, requiring IDs would go a long way to discouraging fraud and instilling confidence in the voting public."
The most recent example of not requiring identification at the voting booth came in a Worcester election of last year.
"By way of example, there are reports - and an ongoing investigation - into activities in Worcester during the 2010 elections that include reports of people coming in to vote but not being sure of their own address - or even their own names," Kozlowski said.
A lobbying group, known as Neighbor to Neighbor, were accompanying people into the voting booth to tell them how to vote in the 2010 Worcester election. They also brought ballots that were filled out already, and told voters what their addresses and towns of residence were.
The petition itself asks for many amendments to the current Massachusetts voting laws. The most important of which would be the addition of the language that, through no uncertain terms, requires an identification to vote. The law currently states that a person may vote without a proper i.d., "but that person’s right to vote may be challenged under section 85."
So far, the petition has gone through the first initial hurdles, by getting the first 10 signatures of approval from the Attorney General's Office.
"We are currently engaged in the process whereby the Attorney General's Office reviews proposed questions to see if they are permissible under the ballot initiative law," Kozlowski said. "We expect a decision by early September."
He added that if the Attorney General's Office signs off on the petition, the he and the initiative's other proponents will have two months to get 68,911 certified signatures from the general public.