Friday, February 12, 2021

CommonWealth Magazine: "Constitutional challenge to vote-by-mail likely"


"Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin and voting rights advocates want to allow Massachusetts residents to vote by mail for any reason. But is that constitutional?

The Massachusetts Constitution explicitly says the Legislature can authorize absentee voting for just three reasons: if someone is out of town, physically disabled, or cannot vote on Election Day due to a religious belief.

Lawmakers acknowledged the constraint in 2013, when they considered but did not act on a constitutional amendment to allow absentee voting for any reason.

“There’s been a long-term traditional view that opportunities to vote by mail in Massachusetts are constrained by the Constitution, which specifies particular conditions under which you can do this,” said Evan Horowitz, executive director of the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University."

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