Saturday, April 11, 2020

Senate Releases Bill to Lower Signature Threshold for Some Candidacies

The Massachusetts State Senate Committee on Rules has released a bill to address public health concerns surrounding the gathering of signatures for candidates for public office during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

"This is an unprecedented time, and we must consider all of our actions with an eye towards protecting the health and safety of our residents," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "The Senate is therefore taking steps to reduce the number of signatures for offices that require a large number during this public health crisis. With this legislation, we hope to find a way to ensure that those who decide to run for public office can demonstrate the necessary support they have in their communities without endangering their health or the health of others."

"We must prioritize the protection of public health during this pandemic," stated Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem), Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules. "This bill appropriately halves the requirements for candidates who need one thousand or more signatures to get on the ballot, thereby protecting both civic-minded citizens and potential officeholders."

"We need to ensure that everyone who wants to participate in the political process can do so in a way that keeps themselves and their neighbors safe, which is why this legislation is so important," stated Senator Barry Finegold (D-Andover), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws.

The Senate plans to take up the bill on Monday, April 13, 2020.

The bill text is found here

or viewed here

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