Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
A law signed by Gov. Charlie Baker today provides a three-month extension for a number of changes to voting procedures that were enacted last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including early voting by mail.
The new law does the following:
• Allows a city or town with a municipal caucus or annual or special municipal election scheduled before June 30, 2021, to postpone such municipal caucus or municipal election to a date certain not later than Aug. 1, 2021
• Allows the select board, board of selectmen, town council or board of registrars to vote to eliminate a municipal caucus scheduled to occur before July 31, 2021, and, in the alternative, use nomination papers to nominate candidates
• Allows any eligible voter to vote early by mail for any annual or special municipal or state primary or election held on or before June 30, 2021
• Allows any eligible voter to vote early in-person for any annual or special municipal election held on or before June 30, 2021, in a community where the select board, board of selectmen, town council or city council has taken a recorded and public vote to authorize early in-person voting
• For any annual or special municipal or state primary or election held on or before June 30, 2021, allows those taking precautions related to COVID-19 to be deemed unable to cast their vote in person at a polling location by reason of physical disability
• Allows voters instructed by a medical professional or a local or state health official to self-quarantine in their home beginning after noon on the seventh day before any annual or special municipal or state primary or election held on or before June 30, 2021, to designate their home address for delivery of the ballot
• Allows voters with a disability that make it difficult or impossible for them to effectively access a paper vote by mail ballot to request an accommodation from their local election official, and require the local election official to make reasonable efforts to grant accommodations to the voter
With towns preparing for their annual elections this spring, the Legislature sent the fast-track bill to the governor last Friday, as pandemic-related changes made last spring to election procedures were due to expire on March 31.