LWVMA and our partners in the Election Modernization Coalition are asking the legislature to send all registered voters a ballot for the November general election.
Please email your state Senator and Representative and ask them to co-sponsor
, An Act ensuring safe and participatory 2020 state elections in response to COVID-19, filed by Rep. Michael Moran, assistant majority leader, and Rep. John Lawn, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws, and to support these important changes to expand mail voting and safeguard voters and election workers at the polls. Sen. Eric Lesser and Sen. Adam Hinds are sponsors in the Senate.
We must act now to put systems in place for the Sept. 1 primary election and Nov. 3 general election. You can find your legislators' email addresses
; email is better than phone calls or letters while legislators are working remotely.
The bill, filed Tuesday, May 5, calls for ballots to be mailed to all voters, with prepaid return postage, at least 19 days before the Nov. 3 election. Ballots will be returned to city or town election offices, which would also install a secure dropbox where voters can deposit ballots.
In-person voting will still be an option, and the bill requires the Secretary of the Commonwealth to adopt regulations to safeguard the health of voters and election workers at the polls.
Other provisions of the bill include:
- Expand early voting in person to two weeks before the Sept. 1 state primary election and three weeks before the Nov. 3 election
- Cut the deadline to register to vote in the two elections from the current 20 days to 10 days
- Create an online portal for voters to apply for absentee ballots
- Establish that concern about COVID-19 qualifies as a "physical disability" and permits any concerned voter to vote by absentee ballot
- Permit local election officials to scan absentee and early voting ballots in their offices before election day, rather than deliver them to individual polling places to be counted on election day; no results will be determined or announced before polls close.
The Election Modernization Coalition includes LWVMA, Common Cause, ACLU Massachusetts, MassVOTE, MassPIRG, Massachusetts Voter Table, and Lawyers for Civil Rights.