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State's voter information booklet coming soon to your mailbox

Ryan Trowbridge, Audrey Russo

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Election day is less than eight weeks away and after setting a voter turnout record for the primary election, expectations are high for an even bigger turnout in November.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin held a press conference in Springfield on Thursday to discuss informational booklets going out to voters.

Galvin said the informational booklets are required by law. He said they are critical in explaining ballot questions that voters will have to answer in November - questions that could impose major changes in the state. “It should reach the whole state by the end of the coming week,” Galvin noted. Galvin provided details on the voter booklets coming next week in the mail.

The booklets will contain voter registration forms, as well as information on the state’s ballot questions.

Question 1 proposes that auto manufacturers make certain information about their cars available to owners and independent repair shops.

Question 2 is more complex. It proposes a change to how state election ballots are counted. Rather than the candidate with the most votes winning outright, voters would have to rank their preference for candidates and multiple rounds of counting would eliminate those with the lowest support.

“You’re changing the way the ballots are counted, so you want voters to understand it,” Galvin noted. Galvin said campaigns often act in their own interest and misconstrue the ballot questions. The voter booklets lay out in detail what voters can expect from either a yes or no vote on each issue.

“We not only have the actual text of what the ballot question, what the law will be, but we also have a 150-word statement from each side that simply explains their point of view,” Galvin noted.

Following the primaries with record turnout due to mail in voting, voters reported receiving the wrong party ballot, the wrong district ballot, or no ballot at all.

Galvin said many of those instances were in eastern Massachusetts. Come the general election, party ballots won’t be an issue, but he said primary day gave them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.

“Looking at ways to streamline the process. It was a very complex undertaking and I think, by and large, it was successful,” Galvin explained.

Western Mass News spoke to Alex Psilakis of MassVote, a non-profit promoting voter education. He said if you plan to vote by mail, now is the time to request your ballot. That way, if you get the wrong one, you can take action early.

“Usually, the town or city clerk can patch that issue up right away and send folks the proper ballot, but if it’s, you know, a couple days or a week out from the election, the best thing you can do is just go vote in person,” Psilakis

Galvin said those voter booklets are available in other languages besides English upon request.

Election day is Tuesday, November 3.

This story originally appeared on Western Mass News. Check it out here!


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