State Watch

Massachusetts governor signs bill giving all residents vote-by-mail option

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed a bill Monday that allows all residents to have a vote-by-mail option for the 2020 primary and general elections.

“A bill has just been signed into law that will allow all Mass. voters to vote by mail without an excuse in any 2020 election,” the elections division of the Massachusetts secretary of state’s office tweeted. 

Registered voters who wish to vote by mail will receive an application they should sign and send back to receive a ballot. Voters registered by July 1 will receive the application, which is pre-addressed and doesn’t need postage, for the primary.

A second mailing of applications will take place in September for voters who have not applied to vote by mail in the general election. 

The application has to reach local election offices no later than four business days before the election, which would be Aug. 26 for the primary and Oct. 28 for the general election.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin said in a press release the office “is moving forward immediately to implement a new law that will allow all registered voters in Massachusetts to vote by mail this fall, with no excuse necessary.”

“I am very pleased that this bill has been signed into law, allowing voters and election officials to plan for everyone to be able to vote safely this fall,” Galvin said. “I am also glad the new law includes the additional in-person early voting I proposed for both the primary and the election.”

Early voting for the primary election will take place between Aug. 22 and Aug. 28 and for the general election between Oct. 17 and Oct. 30. 

Pushes for mail-in voting have gained steam during the coronavirus pandemic to allow the elderly and other vulnerable populations to avoid public gatherings.

Massachusetts has confirmed a total of 104,659 cases of COVID-19 and at least 7,983 deaths as of Monday, according to the state’s data.

President Trump and other Republicans have voiced disapproval for mail-in voting, arguing without evidence that it makes it easier for people to commit voter fraud.

—Updated Tuesday at 1:05 p.m.

Tags 2020 election 2020 Massachusetts primary 2020 presidential election Ballot Donald Trump Fraud mail-in voting massachussetts vote-by-mail

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