Showing posts with label vote. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vote. Show all posts

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Possible questions for November's state ballot

Via the Boston Globe:
"Millions of Massachusetts voters will hit the polls in November to cast a presidential ballot. They also could rewrite state laws in ways unseen in decades.

Possible ballot questions
Possible ballot questions
Unions, advocates, and out-of-state groups are pushing to put five ballot questions before voters this fall, creating what would be the largest single slate in 24 years. The breadth of the lineup appears likely to spur one of the most expensive ballot question campaigns in Massachusetts history, with groups collectively having spent millions of dollars before the ballot has even been finalized.

For voters, that not only could mean enduring an onslaught of political advertising, but also wrestling with weighty policy decisions. Should the state scrap MCAS exams as a graduation requirement, reversing years of educational standards? Should it legalize psychedelic mushrooms? Should ride-share drivers be allowed to unionize?"
Continue reading the article at the Globe -> (Subscription may be required)

Later this year, the "red book" of information on the ballot questions will be made available by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. 

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Tri-County schedules a special election for Oct 24 to vote to approve new building project



DISTRICT WIDE ELECTION – 10/24/2023 - Franklin High School Gym, 218 Oak St. (12 noon - 8pm)

The following are the eleven (11) communities that will be voting for the proposed construction of a new Tri-County Vocational High School.
Norfolk, Medway, Millis, Seekonk, Walpole, Franklin, Medfield, Plainville, N. Attleboro, Sherborn, Wrentham
Last day to register to vote is Saturday, October 14th - 9 AM to 5 PM in the Town Clerk's Office.
There will be NO extended hours for in person voting. Absentee voting will be held in Town Clerk's Office during regular business hours. Last day to absentee vote in person is 10/23 from 8AM to 12:00 (noon)
If requesting an absentee ballot be mailed you must do so by October 19th.
All ballots must be received by 8PM on election day.
For all information on the project please click on this link:
For frequently asked questions:

Tri-County building project update provided, some questions remain but the date to vote is set as Oct 24, 2023
Tri-County schedules a special election for Oct 24 to vote to approve new building project

Saturday, April 30, 2022

MA Senate to Debate Work and Family Mobility Act Next Thursday (5/05/22)

Senate to Debate Work and Family Mobility Act Next Thursday

The Massachusetts State Senate announced plans today (4/28/22) to debate An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility at a formal session next Thursday, May 5, 2022. The Work and Family Mobility Act, filed by Senators Brendan Crighton and Adam Gomez, would allow Massachusetts residents who lack federal immigration status to apply for a Massachusetts standard driver's license, the non-REAL ID license. 

The bill, which received a favorable report from the Senate Committee on Rules earlier today, has received widespread support from members of the law enforcement community, advocacy groups, and members of the immigrant community. It proposes strict identity documentation criteria, asking for applicants to present two valid, unexpired identity documents. It makes no change to existing law requiring that all driver's license applicants prove that they live in the Commonwealth. The bill advanced by the Senate Committee on Rules is nearly identical to the version that previously passed the House of Representatives earlier this year.

"As the granddaughter of immigrants, I have been a longtime supporter of allowing everyone, regardless of immigration status, to safely get to work and school, access health care, and participate in the lives of their communities, and so I am pleased to see this bill move forward today," stated Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). "All our residents and their families deserve to feel safe, and driver's licenses for qualified individuals is good for our economy, our families, and public safety. I'd like to thank Senators Crighton, Gomez and Lovely for their efforts to push this bill forward."

"I am proud to work with my Senate colleagues to favorably move the Work and Family Mobility Act out of the Senate Committee on Rules today," said State Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). "This legislation will improve public safety on our roadways and provide accessibility for all Massachusetts residents. Thank you, Senate President Spilka and Senators Crighton and Gomez for your leadership on this bill."

"The Work and Family Mobility Act will make our roads safer and, just as importantly, make the lives of more than 185,000 Massachusetts immigrants without status easier by allowing them to earn a standard driver's license," said State Senator Brendan P. Crighton (D-Lynn). "In the absence of a robust regional public transportation system, it is impossible for many Massachusetts residents to get through their day without the use of a car. No one should fear detention or deportation over essential everyday tasks such as getting to work, school, doctor's appointments and grocery stores. It is time for Massachusetts to join the 16 other states who have passed this common-sense legislation."

"This important piece of legislation, which is long overdue, has received widespread support from law enforcement officials, municipal leaders, and advocacy organizations across our state," said State Senator Adam Gomez (D-Springfield). "These people are our neighbors, our friends, and our fellow community members. It's past time that we provide them with the ability to have reliable and accessible transportation where they don't have to fear deportation or separation from their families. This legislation gives undocumented residents the same opportunities that their documented counterparts may take for granted — the ability to drive freely across our state, find work in another community, drive their kids to school, run errands for their partner — not burdened with the worry that they may have negative interactions with law enforcement. That's what happens when people have access to reliable transportation: they can thrive, serve their communities, and succeed."

"There is a reason so many law enforcement leaders support this legislation, including a majority of my fellow sheriffs," said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. "I first spoke in favor of this issue as a state representative over 20 years ago. This bill would not only improve public safety by increasing the number of properly identified and insured motorists; but just as critically it will improve a family's ability to get to medical appointments, to the grocery store, and to their kids' school activities. I commend Senate President Spilka, Senators Brendan Crighton and Adam Gomez, as well as the numerous legislators and advocates who have continued to support this vital issue."

In a formal statement, the leaders of the organizations co-chairing the Driving Families Forward Coalition, Brazilian Worker Center Executive Director Lenita Reason and 32BJ SEIU Executive Vice President Roxana Rivera said, "As co-chairs of the Driving Families Forward Coalition, made up of over 270 endorsers including business associations, labor unions, immigrant advocates, faith groups and many more supporting the Work and Family Mobility Act, we are overjoyed that the bill will be coming before a historic Senate vote. We extend our gratitude to Senate President Spilka, Senator Lovely, Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules and our bill lead sponsors, Senator Crighton, and Senator Gomez for their leadership in promoting everyone's safety in the Commonwealth by moving the bill through the legislative process. This includes law enforcement officials who need to know drivers' identities, Massachusetts motorists who benefit when every driver is tested and insured, and, of course, the diverse immigrant communities across the state who need to access doctor's offices, schools, and jobs. Many immigrants' lives would be transformed by this bill, and everyone in Massachusetts would have safer and more secure roads for it."

The legislation also includes layered protection for driver information, prohibiting the Massachusetts RMV from keeping records of citizenship or immigration status for standard license holders and applicants. Safeguards are also put in place for voting, above and beyond the extensive existing protections, directing the Registry of Motor Vehicles and Secretary of State to establish procedures to ensure that drivers without lawful immigration status are not erroneously registered to vote.

MA Senate to Debate Work and Family Mobility Act Next Thursday (5/05/22)
MA Senate to Debate Work and Family Mobility Act Next Thursday (5/05/22)

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Vote today for Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Planning Board, School Committee, Town Clerk and Town Council candidates

The election season ends today with the in-person voting for all Franklin precincts at Franklin High School. Pools open at 6 AM and will close at 8 PM.

It is anticipated that about an hour after the polls close the results should be ready. Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9) will be prepared to broadcast from the gym when they are ready.

Less than 1,000 voters had cast their ballots as of close of business at the Town Clerk's office on Friday, Oct 29, 2021. This combined the early vote, vote by mail and absentee ballots. Early voting was also available on Monday, Nov 1 during office hours.

How many will turnout?

History shows that for "Franklin elections" we get about a 20% turnout. I would have expected move votes cast by now given the accessibility of early voting and vote by mail. We'll see how many go through the doors at Franklin High School.

The chart below summaries the vote totals by election type from 2003 through 2020. The PDF contains the current registered voter totals by precinct.

vote totals by election type from 2003 through 2020
vote totals by election type from 2003 through 2020

PDF of the voter turnout table shown:

PDF of the registered voters by precinct:

If you still need to decide who to vote for, the information collected can be found here

Monday, November 1, 2021

Your Vote Matters! 2021 Biennial Town Election - Nov 2, 2021

Your Vote Matters! 2021 Biennial Town Election - Tomorrow November 2nd

The Biennial Town Election is tomorrow, November 2nd, 2021 at Franklin High School from 6:00 AM - 8:00 PM. Be sure to make your plan to vote. 

Additional election information is available here:

Your Vote Matters! 2021 Biennial Town Election - Nov 2, 2021
a pre-pandemic set up of voting in the FHS gym

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Franklin, MA: Town Council - Agenda - Oct 20, 2021

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 7:00 PM

This meeting is being recorded by Franklin TV and shown on Comcast channel 11 and Verizon Channel 29.  This meeting may be recorded by others. 
Chair to Identify Members Participating Remotely.

Citizens are welcome to express their views for up to five minutes on a matter that is not on the agenda. The Council will not engage in a dialogue or comment on a matter raised during Citizen Comments. The Town Council will give remarks appropriate consideration and may ask the Town Administrator to review the matter. 

None Scheduled 

None Scheduled

David Ogilvie: Fire Department, New Hire

6. HEARINGS - 7:10pm
None Scheduled

Residence Inn Boston Franklin, License Modification, Change of LLC Officers & Managing Directors, 4 Forge Parkway, Franklin, MA 02038

American Rescue Plan Act: Jamie Hellen, Town Administrator
2020 Federal Census & Reprecincting Update: Nancy Danello, Acting Town Clerk and Kate Sjoberg, GIS Coordinator
Capital Budget Subcommittee
Budget Subcommittee
Economic Development Subcommittee

Resolution 21-59: Update of Town’s Voting Precincts (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-59 - Majority Vote)
Resolution 21-60: Further Amending the Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-off Abatement Program (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-60 - Majority Vote)

Resolution 21-61: Further Amending the Veterans’ Property Tax Work-off Abatement Program (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-61 - Majority Vote)

Resolution 21-62: Acceptance of G.L. Chapter 59, Section 5C ½ and Increase in Certain Property Tax Exemptions Pursuant Thereto (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-62 - Majority Vote)

Resolution 21-63: Cable Funds in Support of PEG Service and Programming per MGL Ch. 44, §53F3/4 - $28,000 (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-63 - Majority Vote)

Resolution 21-64: Cable Funds in Support of PEG Service and Programming per MGL Ch. 44, §53F3/4 - $28,000 (Motion to Approve Resolution 21-64 - Majority Vote)



None Scheduled


proposed Update of Town’s Voting Precincts
proposed Update of Town’s Voting Precincts

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

The election endgame is underway

Having completed watching "The Queen's Gambit" over the holiday weekend, the chess term is quite appropriate here. Some refer to politics as a game, I tend not to, especially since it affects our lives and livelihoods. Nonetheless, the term applies well. 
"A Republican congressman from Texas sued Vice President Mike Pence in the latest long-shot effort to reverse President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.

In the lawsuit, Representative Louie Gohmert seeks a court order forcing the vice president to acknowledge what Gohmert claims is Pence’s power to disregard states’ chosen Democratic electors and instead select competing slates of GOP electors on Jan. 6.

That’s the day the Senate and House meet jointly to open and count certificates of electoral votes from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The vice president has the constitutional role of presiding over the Senate, which has traditionally included overseeing the formal acceptance of the Electoral College vote."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

The Boston Globe headline "Pence is sued by Republican congressman in long-shot effort to reverse Biden’s victory over Trump". 

The podcast "What Trump Can Teach Us about Con(stitutional) Law" provides insights into this recent development in the Presidential Election of 2020

Monday, December 28, 2020

CommonWealth Magazine: steps to boost voting rights; let MA home bakers do their thing

 From CommonWealth Magazine:

"3 steps Mass. should take to boost voting rights
Too many of the state’s voters are disenfranchised"

"SINCE THE SHOT heard around the world at the battle of Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts has been at the forefront of modern democracy. The Massachusetts Constitution – which was drafted by John Adams – formed the model for the United States Constitution and remains the oldest continuously-operating constitution in the world. Despite this history of democratic leadership, in recent years Massachusetts has fallen behind other states in ensuring that all eligible voters can register, vote, and have their votes count. The upcoming legislative session is an opportunity to change that and build on the work done in 2020 to open up voting to more people during the pandemic.

It was encouraging that Massachusetts leaders, like those in many other states, took important steps this year to expand early voting and to send vote-by-mail applications to every registered voter."

Continue reading the article online
"Let Mass. home bakers do their thing
Patchwork of regulations make starting a business difficult"
"RETIRED SALON OWNER and daycare provider Marcia Donnelly did not want to fight City Hall. She just wanted to sell home-baked sourdough bread from her kitchen in Southbridge.

Homemade food businesses are common and easy to start in 48 states, and have become increasingly popular during COVID-19. Worried about global supply chains and general uncertainty, the pandemic has boosted demand for fresh, locally sourced products. Unfortunately, Massachusetts has resisted the trend, along with New Jersey. “It was a battle from the get-go to set up my business,” Donnelly says."
Continue reading the article online

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Sunday, November 8, 2020

"Municipalities have until Nov. 18 to send their final tallies to the state"

 From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"These vote-counting sessions are required so that local clerks can count any ballots that came in between 5 p.m. on Election Day and 5 p.m. on Friday, as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday. Another session will need to be scheduled to count overseas ballots, which have another week to arrive, but again, must have been postmarked by Nov. 3.

Municipalities were allowed to save ballots that came in the mail on Election Day until these later counting sessions, but many chose to count them on Election Day.

None of the cities or towns in MetroWest or Greater Milford who responded to the Daily News anticipate having enough ballots to overturn their town’s presidential results. Several had 20 ballots or fewer as of Thursday or Friday afternoon, with only a day or a few hours left until the post office could drop off more.

On Saturday, Franklin officials expected to count nearly 200 ballots, the most of any community in the region. But that’s still not enough to take the win from Biden in that town, where he had just under 5,000 votes more than President Donald Trump."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Municipalities have until Nov. 18 to send their final tallies to the state"
"Municipalities have until Nov. 18 to send their final tallies to the state"

Thursday, October 29, 2020

In the News: Boston Marathon 2021 moved to at least the fall;

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"The 2021 Boston Marathon will not be held in April, and local officials believe it is the correct call.

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced Wednesday afternoon the 125th Boston Marathon, traditionally held on the third Monday in April — Patriots’ Day - will be postponed until at least the fall 2021.

Brendan Tedstone, the Hopkinton Select Board Chairman, grew up in town, and said it was strange to not see a common full of runners on Patriots’ Day this year, calling it a “spring rite of passage.” Even so, he said he “definitely thinks it’s the right call.”

“It’s absolutely the right thing to do as a town,” said Tedstone. “We love having the marathon start in Hopkinton. We always have. But we would never allow an event to go on if it compromised the safety of our townspeople. I appreciate the proactive approach the B.A.A. took.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"Voters in Massachusetts will not be turned away for refusing to wear masks at polling stations, similar to rulings in other states.

In Houston, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry issued an executive order on Oct. 16, prohibiting poll workers from turning away voters who refuse to wear a mask at the polls.

But in Massachusetts, poll workers have been instructed on how to accommodate for all voters. No one will be turned away from voting sites or denied the right to vote for refusing to wear a face covering.

“While we strongly encourage all voters to wear a mask while voting in person, voters cannot be denied the right to vote if they are unable or unwilling to wear one. Local election officials have been advised to be prepared to provide a reasonable accommodation for such a voter,” said Debra O’Malley, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State William Galvin."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

In the News: "The system isn’t broken right now"

From the Milford Daily News, an article of interest for Franklin:

"Question 2 on the Tuesday, Nov. 3 ballot asks the Massachusetts electorate to adopt ranked-choice voting for nearly all federal and state races — excluding U.S. president — that result in a single winner.

A “yes” vote on the binding referendum supports replacing the plurality-voting system in place with ranked choice voting. A “no” vote opposes changing the existing plurality voting.

If Question 2 passes, ranked-choice voting would be implemented for the primary and general elections in 2022. It would come into play when three or more candidates compete in a single-seat election.

Yes on 2 proponents pitch ranked-choice as a remedy to plurality-voting problems — chiefly split voting and spoiler candidates — in crowded Massachusetts elections."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

I am still not convinced of the proposed benefits for ranked choice voting. If I were to schedule a Zoom conference bridge to talk through the pros and cons would you be interested? It wouldn't be recorded, but we (whomever shows up) could discuss this topic. Let me know if you are interested via email or comment.

The Franklin Community Voting Guide for November 2020 is ready for your use to prepare to vote.

In the News: "The system isn’t broken right now"
In the News: "The system isn’t broken right now"

Sunday, October 4, 2020

In the News: "Mail-in ballots are not ripe for fraud"

From the Milford Daily News, an article of interest for Franklin:

"As President Donald Trump continues to claim the ballots are ripe for fraud, some local experts say that’s not the case in Massachusetts

Is anything in life free from potential fraud?

“No” was Steven Kerrigan’s answer.

Kerrigan is Marlborough’s city clerk, a job he’s held since May, after serving seven years as assistant clerk.

When it comes to mail-in ballots in Massachusetts, Kerrigan said, “I feel relatively certain the system is secure.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 
Franklin MA: info can be found on the Town Clerk page
Franklin, MA: 2020 Election Schedule
Franklin, MA: 2020 Election Schedule


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Nature’s Nurse Wildlife Rehabilitation has an easy way for you to help today!

"Friends, Family, Everyone 😁 Please, PLEASE vote for me through the Tractor Supply Rescue Grant. I am one of the 25 finalists ( through my Nature’s Nurse Wildlife Rehabilitation page ) Top 8 win $25,000 for their rescue. 

Voting started at midnight and ends Sept 30. You can only vote once so please share with everyone you know and encourage them to vote. I would be so grateful and can do so much more with these funds ❤️🐾. 

You vote by putting a heart on my photo through the link I'll provide.

Vote here >

#RescueYourRescue #Contest

Please share on Instagram and Twitter if you have them. Thank you all!"

(This is the photo you'll see on the link)

Nature’s Nurse Wildlife Rehabilitation has an easy way for you to help today!
Nature’s Nurse Wildlife Rehabilitation has an easy way for you to help today!

"Nature's Nurse Wildlife Rehabilitation is a registered 501c3 in Franklin, Massachusetts. We nurse sick, orphaned and injured wildlife back to health and back into their natural environment within the state of Massachusetts."

Visit their webpage

Or their Facebook page 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 Information For Voters for 2020

Dd you get the election information booklet in the mail from the Secretary of the Commonwealth

You can get your copy at the page 

or with this Google doc copy: Information For Voters for 2020 Information For Voters for 2020


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: Ranked choice voting and the 4th District; rethinking high school in COVID

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:  

"WHEN JESSE MERMELL gave her videotaped concession speech in the 4th Congressional District primary race on Friday, she did it in front of a sign that read “Jesse Mermell for RCV,” an acronym for ranked–choice voting. “If the ranked–choice voting campaign needs a new face, give me a call, guys,” Mermell said. “I’ve got some time on my hands.” 

Mermell, a progressive who worked for former Gov. Deval Patrick, lost the Democratic primary by just 2,000 votes, or 1.3 percent, to Newton City Councilor and US Marine Corps veteran Jake Auchincloss. That means primary voters in the liberal congressional district that repeatedly reelected Joe Kennedy, Barney Frank, and Robert Drinan over the past five decades have selected seemingly the most moderate of seven Democratic candidates vying to represent them in Congress.

Auchincloss, who worked for Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial campaign in 2014, won in a seven-candidate field comprised mostly of liberals. Auchincloss rejects the “centrist” label and calls himself a “pragmatic progressive.”  But his close election reflects a campaign that performed strongly in much of the more moderate southern part of the 4th Congressional District, which extends from Brookline and Newton to Fall River, and featured a crowded field that likely led liberal voters to split their vote.  

The race is calling renewed attention to a November ballot question that would implement ranked–choice voting, which lets voters select candidates in order of preference and could mitigate the effects of vote-splitting."

"FOR 20 YEARS, I’ve taught in an adult ed program in Dorchester. Every year we tweak things, adjust the schedule, hire new faculty, tinker with syllabi. Change happens gradually.

This past spring, with the advent of COVID, we had to scramble. Many of our students do not have laptops or good internet service and our class sputtered out. Around the end of June, my fellow teachers and I thought about what we would do for this coming year. What we did is, we tore up our schedule, our comfortable ideas, our expectations, and started fresh. Change happened suddenly.

Which is why I wanted to write up some ideas for the coming school year, specifically for the suburban high school where my children are enrolled.

I, like every other parent I spoke to, and like the teachers and School Committee members who wrote and spoke publicly — like everyone in town — was disappointed with the agenda for this school year — remote learning. The truth is, it’s disappointing because it’s not like previous years, and it’s not close enough to previous years to placate us."
Continue reading the article online

Saturday, September 5, 2020

“I thought I had them all. .... It was human error”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:  

"The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office will work closely with Franklin in the weeks leading up to the November presidential election, after about 3,000 ballots went uncounted on election night Tuesday.

“We will certainly be heavily involved in the office leading up to November,” said Debra O’Malley, a spokeswoman with William Galvin’s office.

Franklin was one of three communities, along with Newton and Wellesley, to have uncounted ballots as of Wednesday morning. About 750 ballots that were dropped into Newton’s secure ballot drop boxes in the last three hours of the election went uncounted, while Wellesley was unable to get to about 100 ballots, between late drop box submissions and absentee ballots.

But in Franklin, officials said, the Town Clerk’s Office missed about 3,000 mailed ballots that were processed in advance but not yet tallied, which is allowed by state law. The ballots had been processed (checking which residents voted), then locked into the town clerk’s vault, with the expectation that they would be counted on election day.

“They were in the vault and I forgot them,” Franklin Town Clerk Teresa Burr said. “I thought I had them all. .... It was human error.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Via Twitter on Friday, and shared to Facebook:
Q - When will the town election results be published?
A = That is a good question. I would guess not until the results are final and official. In case you missed it, the State took over the count process.
Seconded by Town of Franklin:
"Steve is correct. The complete results are being entered by the town staff along with the Secretary of State. They are due by tomorrow but should be done today. We will post immediately when available and when the final results are certified. There will be no preliminary numbers."

“I thought I had them all. .... It was human error”
“I thought I had them all. .... It was human error”

Commonwealth Magazine: "Voting reforms reinvigorated democracy"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin: 

"When the Legislature passed an unprecedented expansion of mail-in voting, they did it for this year only, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that makes crowding into polling places unsafe.

But now, amid record-breaking turnout in this week’s primary, some are calling for mail-in voting to become a permanent feature of Massachusetts elections.

“Voter turnout in the September 1 primary makes one thing abundantly clear– vote by mail should be here to stay,” said Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, executive director of MassVOTE, a coalition that aims to expand voting access, in a statement.

The last time turnout in a state primary election topped 1 million was in 1990, when 1.5 million people voted. This year, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin says that turnout will be more than 1.5 million, although he still did not have a final number. "

"AT THE START of July, the Legislature passed a landmark bill to expand early voting, implement a secure vote-by-mail system, and strengthen safety measures for in-person voting. Tuesday’s primary was the first major test of these important reforms. They worked.

More people voted in this year’s state primary than ever before. According to preliminary data, over 1.6 million voters cast ballots, totaling more than a third of all registered voters. In recent state primaries, fewer than 1 million voters have showed up at the polls, with voter participation rates mired in the teens and low twenties. This year, several competitive races for Congress helped increase voter participation, but the high turnout was also a product of Massachusetts’ new election laws. In the face of an ongoing  pandemic, Massachusetts did not simply protect voting rights—we reinvigorated our democracy.

The Legislature’s voting reforms gave voters several different ways to cast their ballot. For the first time in the history of the Commonwealth, voters had the choice to vote by mail, to vote in person during a week-long early voting window, or to vote in person on the day of the election. The intent was to empower voters to vote in a way that worked best for them, and it is clear that people availed themselves of the opportunity. Over 1 million people requested mail-in ballots, 180,000 people voted during early voting, and hundreds of thousands more went to the polls on election day. While the vast majority of people who requested a mail-in ballot were able to return it successfully, voters still had the ability to vote in person if they encountered difficulties in the vote-by-mail process."
Continue reading the article online

Commonwealth Magazine:  "Voting reforms reinvigorated democracy"
Commonwealth Magazine:  "Voting reforms reinvigorated democracy"

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

“The most important thing to do now is to count all the votes"

 From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin: 

"As Sept 2 dawned, the race for the 4th Congressional District House seat showed no sign of ending. 
According to the Associated Press tabulation, fewer than 1,000 votes separated the top two Democrats, former Brookline city councilor Jesse Mermell and Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss. Mermell had led for much of the evening, with the gap between the two dwindling as more towns reported. 
As of 12:45 a.m., 76 percent of the towns had reported results; outstanding were: Bellingham, Berkley, Dover, Franklin, Lakeville, Milford, North Attleboro, Norton, Raynham, Rehobeth and Seekonk. 
In a statement issued shortly shortly before 1 a.m, Mermell’s campaign acknowledged the tight race."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Related article from Commonwealth Magazine

“The most important thing to do now is to count all the votes"
“The most important thing to do now is to count all the votes"

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

In the News: task force formed to tackle car thieves; primary may see record turnout

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin: 

"Several area communities have been targeted by two apparent separate groups of car thieves, and now a task force is seeking to catch the suspects. 
Hopkinton Police said a task force made up of themselves, Holliston, Sherborn, Franklin, Medway, Millis and Wrentham police departments, as well as the Massachusetts State Police, are searching for the suspects. 
“Our detectives have been monitoring this for quite some time,” Hopkinton Chief Joseph Bennett said Monday. 
The task force was set up about three weeks ago. The car thefts, as well as car break-ins, have been occurring for about three months, Detective Sgt. Scott van Raalten said."


“I think we all know this has been an extraordinary year for virtually everything about our lives, and elections are no different,” Galvin, the state’s elections overseer, said at a State House press conference. 
“We’re having an election tomorrow, I think under the most unusual circumstances.” 
On the eve of a primary election in which ways to participate have been reshaped around the COVID-19 pandemic, Galvin provided a turnout forecast -- he expects 1.2 million to 1.3 million votes, once all are tallied -- and laid out the ground rules for voters."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)