AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) - Exercising your right to vote is a fundamental civic duty -- but it's not always the most convenient process. Some Massachusetts lawmakers want to change that by giving you more flexibility in casting your vote.
If you've voted in an election before, you've most likely waited in a long line or perhaps scrambled after work on that Tuesday to get to your polling location before it closed. Unlike some states, Massachusetts doesn't offer an early voting process, and it can make election day a hassle for some voters.
"Voting what, closes at 8 or something like that? If people are getting out that 5 and have rush hour and certain places won't be open at a certain time," said Yen Ngo of Springfield.
Many Massachusetts voters use their absentee ballots as a way to cast their votes early. But it doesn't necessarily make the election process go more smoothly.
"Well the paperwork involved in an absentee ballot is extensive. Not only that, the voter has to send it back. Why not have them come to the election commission office, be able to vote. Put it into a ballot box to be counted at that particular precinct that they're designated for later on," said Agawam town clerk Richard Theroux.
Early voting would give people with hectic work and child care schedules more flexibility ahead of time to participate in the important election process. And it would make the winding lines at polling locations a whole lot shorter.
"It gets up to an hour or two, waiting to vote. Sometimes you don't have the time. It would be great to vote early," said Yunise Jimenez of Springfield.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, voters in 32 states and the District of Columbia may cast their ballots in person prior to Election Day, without an excuse.