In May 2014, the Massachusetts legislature passed an historic reform of our state’s election laws. As part of the new law, it established early voting starting with the November 2016 election. Early voting is one important way to expand access to our democracy. It allows people whose work or family obligations preclude them from standing in line or even getting to the polls on Election Day, more opportunities to vote. The early voting period starts 11 business days preceding the election. Within that period, municipalities are required to have at least one voting site open during normal business hours. But beyond these simple specifications, there is a great deal of flexibility in how the law may be implemented.
In order to ensure the effectiveness and success of early voting, the Massachusetts Election Modernization Coalition proposes the following standards for municipalities implementing the law. We believe these recommendations will ensure that early voting meets its goals: easing access to the ballot for Massachusetts voters, shortening lines at polling locations, and improving the voting experience. Our recommendations are divided into two categories, and are followed by an overview of the inaugural Early Voting Challenge, which we are issuing to all Massachusetts cities and towns.
Download the report to read our full list of recommendations.