(BOSTON – 03/12/21) The Massachusetts House of Representatives and state Senate on Thursday March 11, 2021, passed legislation to extend mail-in voting and early voting options for elections held through the end of June 2021. The vote-by-mail provision was previously set to expire at the end of March 2021.
“Protecting and expanding access to the polls is a vital component of our democracy, and this legislation provides that for the residents of the Commonwealth,” said Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury). “Our vote-by-mail system proved to be a useful and secure tool earlier on the in the pandemic, and so it was vital that we build upon that so upcoming local elections can proceed safetly and smoothly.”
The bill also allows municipalities to provide residents with the option to vote early in-person in these elections. Additionally, the legislation requires local election officials to make reasonable efforts to grant accommodations for voters with disabilities who might have difficulty accessing a paper mail-in ballot and request an accommodation. Furthermore, cities and towns can postpone municipal elections and caucuses scheduled before June 30, 2021 until August 1, 2021.
The bill now advances to the Governor for consideration.