Saturday, June 27, 2020

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #24


Friday, June 26, 2020

Dear friends,

Voting by mail is the best way to enfranchise voters and ensure free, open, fair, and safely accessible elections in pandemic conditions. In a major bipartisan victory for free, fair, and safely accessible elections, last week my Senate colleagues and I passed a number of important reforms to enable people to cast their ballots this Fall without risking their health and safety. This legislation also begins to chip away at the systemic racism that has long been embedded in voting rights and access, and still is today.

I spoke on the Senate floor in favor of the amendment I filed to automatically send every active registered Massachusetts voter a ballot in November, no request or application necessary. During the committee process, every elections advocate supported legislation to automatically mail ballots in the general election. We know that mailing the actual ballots, rather than applications, would make voting easier for voters and local clerks alike, and we know it's a better approach to enfranchising voters of color. That's precisely why I crafted and filed the 2020 Vote By Mail Act ( in April to expand ballot box access in our Commonwealth, as well as the amendment that I brought to the floor last week. Watch my full floor speech ( to learn why, unfortunately, automatic vote by mail will not be a reality for our 2020 elections.

Although automatic vote by mail for the 2020 statewide elections was not in the cards, sending mail-in ballot applications to all registered voters is a significant step in the right direction, as is expanded in-person early voting. I am proud that the bill we passed in the Senate ( includes health protections for poll workers and an allowance for local clerks to process ballots before election day – two provisions that were central components of my 2020 Vote By Mail Act. I am also proud that the Senate adopted a number of critical amendments, including my own to improve voter education about the new voting processes and requiring public votes to change polling locations, and amendments I cosponsored to improve voter accessibility options, strengthen the online ballot request portal, and ensure polling place changes will not have racially disparate impacts.

I'll continue my direct voter education efforts, as I did for the local elections, about how people can vote by mail in September and November. In fact, that work already started! I was glad to meet (via video conference, of course) with residents of a retirement community in our district earlier this week to discuss the voting options for the Fall.

I am deeply grateful for the work and support of community advocates like MassVOTE, Massachusetts Voter Table, AARP Massachusetts, ACLU of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MASSPIRG), Lawyers for Civil Rights, NAACP Boston Branch, The Chelsea Collaborative, MIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition and dozens more organizations that endorsed automatic, universal vote by mail. I will never stop fighting for full and equitable access to the ballot for every single voter in our Commonwealth until we enact and implement elections policy that enfranchises everyone.

If you or any of your loved ones in my district have fallen on hard times during this public health crisis and need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office. My team and I are hard at work connecting constituents with resources they need, whether it is collecting unemployment benefits, accessing food stamps, reaching state agencies, and more. My office line is 617-722-1555 and my email is We are here to help.

Wishing you and your families strength, health, and resilience.

Yours in service,
Senator Becca Rausch

The newsletter was shortened for publication here. To review the full contents, visit

Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #24
Senator Rausch: COVID-19 Update #24

No comments:

Post a Comment