LWVMA Urges Legislature to Act To Protect Fall Elections

LWVMA, with our partners in the Election Modernization Coalition, asks the state legislature to move quickly to make changes in election laws that will assure the state primary election Sept. 1 and the general election Nov. 3 can be held safely with ample opportunity for all to vote.

The coalition, which includes Common Cause, ACLU Massachusetts, MassPIRG, MassVOTE, Lawyers for Civil Rights, the Mass Voter Table and Progressive Massachusetts, sent a letter to all legislators noting: “Although we hope that the pandemic will have abated by the fall and that the virus does not resurge, there is no guarantee that this will be the case, and we must take action now to ensure that the fall elections are as safe and participatory as possible.”

The letter, signed by 50 civic organizations, detailed reforms to ensure participatory and safe elections in the time of COVID-19, including expanding mail voting, expanding early voting windows, reducing or eliminating the registration deadline, and changes to make sure voters and poll workers can practice safe social distancing. The letter also outlined administrative fixes, like central tabulation of ballots, that would enable elections officials to manage the anticipated influx of absentee and mail ballots.

Read the letter here.

The coalition expects to work with legislators to help draft comprehensive legislation to deal with the fall elections.

“While we understand legislators are dealing with immediate emergencies caused by the pandemic, we trust they will move quickly to make the legal changes necessary to permit Massachusetts voters to vote securely this fall,” said Mary Ann Ashton, LWVMA co-president.

LWVMA and the coalition separately send a letter to Secretary of State William Galvin, thanking him for taking quick action to apply for $8,290,676 in federal assistance for election reforms available as part of the recently-passed federal relief legislation.