State House lawmakers pass vote-by-mail legislation

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – State representatives have passed a bill that would allow Massachusetts residents to vote by mail.

In a 155 to 1 vote, House lawmakers passed the vote by mail legislation, and as it heads to the Senate we could see more options added for voters to safely participate in elections during this pandemic.

In the version of the bill passed on Thursday, every registered voter in the state would receive an application by mid-July to request a ballot. If the version is passed by the Senate, it would be coupled with in-person early voting before both the primary in September and the general election November.

Alex Psilakis of MassVOTE explained the current crises in the U.S. have halted in-person voting, but that doesn’t mean that voting has stopped altogether.

“You know, you’re somebody who wants to come out and speak your mind in the middle of this crisis, and then you can’t and that discourages people, and that tells them that maybe there’s no point in voting and that’s the absolute last thing we want,” said Psilakis.

MassVOTE later released a statement to 22News saying:

We applaud the House for swiftly passing H.4768. The bill, with the included amendments,
introduces robust reforms that strengthen our elections in light of COVID19, and deserve to be
permanently implemented moving forward.

Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, Executive Director of MassVOTE

With the bill, Massachusetts lawmakers are inserting themselves directly into a national debate over the integrity of mail-in voting, something the President himself has spoken out about.

Opponents believe that mailboxes would be robbed and ballots would be forged or fraudulently signed. The bill still has to win the approval of the Senate, and they are expected to debate the issue next week.

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