Having made gains in mail-in voting, let’s take process to next level
Our democracy must work for everyone
The Globe’s Dec. 13 editorial, “Mail-in voting delivered. Let’s not cancel it,” is spot-on. However, the state can and must do more.
While Massachusetts did achieve record turnout for the November election, thanks heavily to vote by mail, that turnout is deeply uneven across the state. While the state hit 76 percent voter turnout, turnout reached only 68 percent in Boston, 60 percent in Lowell, and 53 percent in Springfield.
Low voter turnout is not the only problem hurting these communities. In Springfield, for example, 27 percent of individuals live in poverty. More than 80 percent lack a bachelor’s degree. Both rates are well above the respective state average.
The issues that plague our diverse urban communities are broad and systemic. Yet by closing the voter turnout gap, we move one step closer to tackling them. We can close this gap not only by implementing vote by mail but also by passing new policies, such as same-day voter registration. We must also protect the in-person voting process by expanding early voting and ensuring that polling places are located near public transportation lines.
Vote by mail is great. But we must do more to ensure that our democracy works for everyone.
Policy and Communications Manager
This LTE originally appeared in The Boston Globe. Check it out here!