The state Legislature earlier this month passed a measure extending mail-in voting and early voting options for elections held through the end of June of this year. The vote-by-mail provision was previously set to expire at the end of this month.
“In light of the ongoing pandemic, it is essential that we continue to offer vote by mail to uphold public health protections and to ensure an engaged citizenry for a strong democracy,” said state Rep. Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “This bill will ensure that all of our citizens are able to vote in the upcoming municipal elections without compromising their health and safety or the health and safety of others.”
The bill also allows municipalities to provide residents with the option of voting early in-person in these elections. Additionally, the legislation requires local election officials to make reasonable efforts to grant accommodations for voters with disabilities who might have difficulty accessing a paper mail-in ballot. Also, cities and towns can postpone municipal elections and caucuses traditionally scheduled before June 30 until Aug. 1 of this year.
The bill now advances to the governor for his consideration.