Tuesday, November 3, 2020

CommonWealth Magazine: mail voting may remain; abortion access up for discussion during lame duck session

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:

"Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts allowed no-excuse mail-in voting for the first time this year as well as expanded early voting – and millions of voters took advantage.

By Saturday evening, 2.28 million voters had cast their ballots, either by mail or in person – a number equivalent to more than two-thirds of all ballots cast in the 2016 election.

For Pam Wilmot, vice president of state operations for Common Cause, said that is all the proof needed to retain no-excuse mail-in voting going forward. “This process works, and we should absolutely make it permanent,” Wilmot said.

Wilmot and state Sen. Barry Finegold, an Andover Democrat who chairs the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Election Laws, joined The Codcast to talk about the changes to voting made in this year’s elections and the implications for future elections."'

Continue reading article online  https://commonwealthmagazine.org/the-download/mail-in-voting-may-be-here-to-stay-2/


"MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE SPEAKER Robert DeLeo and Senate President Karen Spilka announced on Monday that the two branches will take up abortion access legislation during the lame duck session that runs until the end of the year.

“We are very concerned that Massachusetts’ women’s reproductive rights are under threat at the national level,” said DeLeo and Spilka in a joint statement. “We are therefore committed to debate measures in the House and Senate this session that would remove barriers to women’s reproductive health options and protect the concepts enshrined in Roe v. Wade.”

It is not clear what removing barriers means specifically, but it’s likely the legislation would deal with at least some of the provisions in the so-called ROE Act, which would expand access to abortion, require health insurance coverage for abortions to be covered for low-income residents not eligible for MassHealth, and allow for abortions after 24 weeks in cases where the fetus has been diagnosed with a fatal birth defect. Current law only allows abortions to occur after 24 weeks when the life of the mother is at risk."
Continue reading article online  https://commonwealthmagazine.org/state-government/deleo-spilka-promise-abortion-debate-in-lame-duck-session/

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