Early voting amendment advances

The Legislature advanced a constitutional amendment aimed at facilitating early voting and more widespread use of absentee voting in Massachusetts, but Senate President Therese Murray said the lengthy amendment process is just one option available to reform supporters.

“I would like to see it happen. I would like to see it come through as legislation so it could be done sooner. A lot of people are disenfranchised, particularly people who live in my communities who travel to work sometimes north of Boston, leave before the polls open and get home when the polls are closed,” Murray told the News Service after she gaveled her proposal forward and then closed down the convention until next March.

Lawmakers meeting in a brief Constitutional Convention Wednesday advanced the constitutional amendment (S 12) that would allow registered voters in Massachusetts to cast their ballots at polling places during the 10 days leading up to a scheduled election. The amendment would also allow any voter to request an absentee ballot, regardless of the circumstance.

To take effect, constitutional amendments must be approved by two successive Legislatures and then by the voters. That means the earliest such a plan could reach the ballot would be November 2016. 

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Rep. Josh S. Cutler
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