BOSTON (State House News Service) – A Democrat senator called public attention Wednesday to the lack so far of an online portal through which Massachusetts voters can request mail-in ballots.
Sen. Becca Rausch of Needham tweeted a copy of a letter she sent to Secretary of State William Galvin, asking the state’s top elections official to reply with the “intended go-live date” for the web-based application.
The elections reform law making vote-by-mail and expanded early voting permanent options in Massachusetts, which Gov. Charlie Baker signed on June 22, required Galvin to establish an online option within 30 days for voters to “request an early voting ballot for preliminaries, primaries and elections” or an absentee voting ballot for primaries and general elections.
“While last month’s deadline has come and gone, it seems the online portal does not exist,” Rausch wrote. “Indeed, contrary to the Act’s requirement, your website states that vote by mail ballot requests may only be submitted via postal mail, email, or fax. There is no mention of an online portal or online submission.”
“The ability to request a vote by mail ballot online is critical to voter access and alleviating unnecessary burdens on local clerks,” she added. “Moreover, it is required by law. With less than five weeks remaining until the state primary, time is of the essence for immediate implementation of the online vote by mail ballot request portal.”
A Galvin spokesperson could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday evening.