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Mass. Legislators Reach Potential Compromise On Voting Bill

(State House News Service)
(State House News Service)

A committee made up of members of the Massachusetts House and Senate has agreed on a final compromise bill aimed at safeguarding elections during the coronavirus pandemic.

Backers said Monday the bill’s goal is to expand voter access and safety during the remaining 2020 elections, including the Sept. 1, state primary and Nov. 3, general election.

The latest version of the bill resolves differences between earlier House and Senate versions.

The bill — if approved — would for the first time in state history give all eligible residents the opportunity to vote early in both the state primary and general election while also letting residents vote by mail and expanding absentee ballot access.

All registered voters in Massachusetts would receive applications in the mail to vote early.

Cities and towns would also be required to take a public vote and provide 20 days notice before changing the location of a polling place.

The House and Senate must take a final vote on the compromise bill before it can be sent to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

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