House Votes to Extend Expanded Voting Options Permanently
BOSTON, JUN. 11, 2021 - Yesterday afternoon Representative Bill Driscoll Jr. (D-Milton) joined his colleagues in the state House of Representatives to pass a supplemental budget which included an amendment to make vote-by-mail and early voting options permanent for biennial state elections, state primaries, and any city or town election that is held at the same time as the state votes.
Building on the success of the elections during the pandemic-era, the legislation would provide all registered voters the opportunity to vote-by-mail or vote early in-person. Before 2020, voting by mail was limited and was primarily available to those with specific reasons, for example if voters were disabled or out of town on Election Day. The expanded voting options were embraced in the 2020 elections, with nearly 42 percent of Massachusetts voters mailing in their ballot and over 23 percent choosing to vote early in-person in the general election.
The language details how registered voters can apply to vote-by-mail, when those ballots need to be submitted as well as the structure and timeline of the early voting option which includes mandatory weekend hours.
The supplemental budget now goes to the state Senate for consideration.