Below is a press release from State Rep. Dave Robertson’s Office:
BOSTON, MA — Striking legislation both in response to the COVID-19 impact on elections as well as the state of roadways in the state Representative Robertson and his colleagues passed bills with near unanimous agreement in the most recent session of the House of Representatives.
The language of H4820, which addressed early and absentee voting, creates two moderate changes to the current system of voting by mail and seeks to provide state consultation to local municipalities on how to safeguard voters and poll workers during upcoming state primary and general elections. Upon the Governor’s signing of the bill the Secretary of State will mail every registered voter an absentee ballot application, allowing them to request the necessary ballot to vote by mail if they wish to do so. Upon making their choice, voters may return the ballots in person, by mail via a prepaid return envelope, or through a secure drop box at their respective town hall. In addition to voting by mail, voters will be allowed 7 days to conduct early voting in-person for the primary, and 14 days in-person for the general election. Due to the expected volume of mail, the bill also allows voters postmarked by election day to be counted provided they are received by town officials on November 6th.
“Massachusetts has a solid system in place already for vote by mail, which was showcased during the last few election processes with many people deciding take advantage of casting their vote early by mail. By having the Secretary of State mail every registered voter an application it takes time-pressure and cost off of the local clerks, keeps the lines spaced and spread out on election day to keep people safe, and simply educates people on how they may choose to vote. It made sense not to reinvent the system, but to simply let people know what their options are and allow them to make the choice that they feel most comfortable doing,” said Representative Robertson.
In addition to expanding on the current system, the House also earmarked monies for municipal roads and bridges, totaling $200,000,000 in potential bonds for reimbursement of local road and access for construction.
“So far we have made a great start on Route 38 in both towns,” said Robertson. “We repaved one segment in Tewksbury, Colonial to Old Main St will be completely overhauled next spring, and we’re redoing the intersections at South, Salem, and Main right now. In Wilmington we have requested to restripe certain sections in the meantime, and Burlington Ave to the town line is currently in the design phase. However, these above funds would allow our towns to tackle other additional local priorities, like Route 125 or various intersections.”
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