WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Secretary of the Commonwealth was at The Big E in honor of Massachusetts Day and to spread the word about voting by mail.
Secretary Galvin announced that starting this year, every municipality in the state has the right to vote by mail. He hopes this will increase the turnout in the upcoming municipal elections on November 7th, adding that voting by mail is useful if a person is traveling or has medical issues that
“The town will mail you out a ballot and you’ll be able to participate and you’ll have a return envelope and you need to send it back in that return envelope so that it will be counted properly. One of the things we do is bar code to track the ballot, so we are able to not only track it for the voter so they know their vote has been received, but it allows the community to verify who the voter is and make sure it’s the only voter who is going to use it,” Secretary Galvin said.
Agawam is one city in western Massachusetts that has opted out of mail-in voting this year. According to the city clerk, Agawam’s election schedule does not follow the normal state election schedule. This short window doesn’t guarantee that ballots can be printed, delivered, and returned on time by election day. To make mail-in and in-person voting available in the future, the city is looking to amend its charter.
In order to vote by mail you must submit an application to your local election office. Applications are due by October 31st.
Information on registering to vote in Massachusetts and other election topics can be found on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.