MASSACHUSSETTS

 

NOTES:

  1. MA Voter Registration Deadline. Oct 14, 20 days before Nov 3, 2020.

  2. Stage 1-- Excuse required to vote by mail. Legislation is pending to change to no excuse needed.
  3. Online registration available

2020-01-04_10-46-23 massachusetts map.pn

Voting Issues

FEBRUARY 2021

 

• Massachusetts: Democratic Secretary of State Bill Galvin announced this week that he intends to file a bill with the legislature that would adopt same-day voter registration and make permanent pre-Election Day voting options that were temporarily expanded last year due to the pandemic. Massachusetts currently requires voters to be registered no fewer than 20 days before Election Day, and while the proposal would keep that deadline in place, it would also let voters who miss the deadline register on Election Day itself, though not in the intervening period.

The bill would also expand the number of early voting days in general elections to 14 days including weekends and newly establish seven days of early voting for primaries while also enabling local governments to allow early voting for local elections. All voters would also become eligible for voting by mail with no specific excuse needed, an option that has been available for general elections for some time (though was little-used before 2020) but was only temporarily expanded for primaries last year.

Democratic lawmakers, working in conjunction with voting advocacy groups, have also introduced similar legislation to adopt same-day registration and expanded early voting and excuse-free mail voting, but their bill would impose a regular registration deadline of 10 days before Election Day instead of Galvin's proposed 20. It would also require that incarcerated people who haven't been deprived of their right to vote, such as those convicted of a misdemeanor or who are awaiting trial, be provided with mail ballot applications.

Democrats hold veto-proof majorities in Massachusetts, and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has been amenable to certain voting reforms in recent years, but it isn't yet clear how widespread support in the legislature is for these newest proposals.

 

NOVEMBER 2020

 

Ed Markey won

Richard Neal won

Stephen Lynch won

Seth Moulton won

SEPTEMBER 2020

 

The day after the primary, Secretary of State Bill Galvin successfully persuaded a state judge to allow ballots to be counted that were received "on time and had not been tallied as of the end of last night.” Galvin said in a statement, “Existing state laws lack procedures for the counting of state primary ballots after Election Day.” Later that day, Galvin’s team put out another release saying, “The judge has issued the order. The count will take place tomorrow.”

JULY 2020

 

Massachusetts: Supporters of a ballot initiative that would enact a statute implementing instant-runoff voting in congressional and state elections have submitted nearly double the 13,000 additional signatures needed to qualify for November's ballot. As a result, it's likely that voters will have a chance to decide whether to make Massachusetts the second state after Maine to adopt this reform for all state and federal races, aside from the presidency.

APRIL 2020

• Massachusetts: Democratic Secretary of State Bill Galvin announced he is drafting legislation to enable no-excuse mail voting for the September state primary and to expand mail voting for the November general election with the aim of releasing the proposal in May. The heavily Democratic state legislature would need to pass Galvin’s plan for it to take effect. Galvin, though, said he opposed automatically mailing ballots to all registered voters despite some Democrats calling on the state to do so.

MARCH 2020

• Massachusetts: Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a bill that gives towns the ability to reschedule any local election that was set to take place by May 30 to as late as June 30. The measure also allows all voters to request an absentee mail ballot for these elections (Massachusetts normally requires an excuse to vote absentee).

• Massachusetts: Massachusetts lawmakers have postponed four legislative special elections that were set for March 31. Two races for the state Senate will now take place on May 19, while two for the state House will happen on June 2. In addition, the legislature passed a new bill on Monday that would give towns the ability to reschedule any local election that was set to take place by May 30 to as late as June 30. The measure would also allow all voters to request a mail ballot (Massachusetts normally requires an excuse to vote absentee). The bill now goes to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker for his signature.

JANUARY 2020

• Massachusetts: An initiative to adopt instant-runoff voting in state and congressional elections has cleared the next hurdle in its path to becoming law. After organizers turned in more than 65,000 valid signatures, the initiative will go to the Democratic-run state legislature, which can either pass it and negate the need for it to appear on the ballot, or reject it. If legislators don't pass the proposal, supporters would need to submit just over 13,000 more signatures to qualify for the November ballot.