Bracing Elections for COVID-19
On July 6, 2020 Governor Baker signed into law H.4820 - An Act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19. The law takes a number of steps to help brace our elections for COVID-19, including implementing vote by mail, expanding early voting, providing poll workers PPE, and reducing the voter registration window. With the September 1 State Primary and November 3 General Election rapidly approaching, there’s no time to waste in understanding these reforms, as well as how you can vote in the most safe, secure manner possible.
Thanks to this law, the voter registration window has shrunk from 20 days to 10 for our fall elections. While it isn’t the ideal policy – Election Day Registration (EDR) – it will nevertheless provide individuals more time to register and update their registration.
Under this new law, all of the state’s 4.5 million registered voters will automatically receive an application to vote early by mail. The application, as well as any ballot that is sent, will include pre-paid postage. Voters will automatically receive two applications – one around July 15, and another around September 14. They may also print applications online, write to their local election official, or access the online request portal, which will be active by October 1.
PROTECT IN-PERSON VOTING
Replace the text with the following: With this law, the state has taken multiple steps to protect the in-person voting process. It has introduced one week of early voting for the September Primary, and two for the November General. This includes weekend voting. Furthermore, it ensures that poll workers possess adequate amounts of PPE and sanitizing supplies to ensure that they and voters feel safe throughout.