Legislature Empowers Cities to Postpone and Reschedule Municipal Elections

Rep. Joe McGonagle  along with his colleagues in the House and Senate passed legislation Tuesday to help protect public health by providing cities and towns the authority to postpone and reschedule certain municipal elections and related activities.  The bill now goes to the Governor.

“The right to vote is at the very core of our American values,” said McGonagle. “I’m so proud our legislature is making sure we protect that right amidst this crisis. In doing so, we are prioritizing our people by protecting their public health and their fundamental rights. I’m very thankful to Speaker DeLeo and Senate President Spilka for their joint leadership on this.”

The House also issued orders to reschedule two special state elections until June 2, 2020.  The Senate issued an order to reschedule two state special elections until May 19, 2020.

The legislation includes guidelines for public notification of rescheduled election dates, voter registration deadlines, absentee ballots processing, and the display of sample ballots. The legislation:

•Allows municipal governments to postpone caucus or certain elections scheduled before May 30, 2020 and reschedule the caucus or elections to a date prior to June 30, 2020.

•Allows any eligible voter to vote early by mail for elections occurring before June 30, 2020.

“Massachusetts took action to not only preserve our elections system, but to protect public health during this historic public health emergency,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D – Winthrop).  “We appreciate the leadership of Senate President Spilka and the work of Chair Lawn on this COVID-19-related public health issue.”

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