Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Legislature has passed and sent to the governor a bill that would temporarily extend a number of pandemic-related changes made to voting procedures, including early voting by mail.
The bill would:
• Allow 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
• Allow 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
• Allow 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
• Allow 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, allow 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
• Allow 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
• Allow 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
After accepting public testimony on the bill early this week, the Senate passed it unanimously yesterday as amended. The Senate received more than 145 letters, including one from the Disability Law Center that prompted an amendment to the House bill (H. 73).
The House concurred with the Senate’s amendments.