I agree with Maura Healey and Joe Kennedy that it is a civil rights issue we have vote by mail in place for the September primary and November general election. The linked article cites all the issues with the problematic Wisconsin election as things our state, a cradle of innovation in technology and self-government, ought not to emulate.
Sec. Galvin disagrees. Citing costs, he is against a mail in primary in September, or at lest one that does not disenfranchise unenrolled voters.
Right now Galvin is refusing to commit to truly universal vote by mail where every voter gets a ballot. For the primary his objection is not knowing which party the unenrolled voter wants to vote in, something he is proposing to solve for by sending only registered partisans ballots in the mail which would likely run into legal trouble as the de facto closure of an open primary.
He is also reluctant to do this in November, but has expressed a willingness to bend the rules to no excuses absentee balloting. This is still an opt in system with a deadline a voter would have to know about in advance to request in time.
e every voter to receive a ballot by mail. But Galvin said that would undermine the integrity of the election and create administrative chaos, since independent voters have to choose what party they want to vote in.
Surely our smart state can figure this one out?
Common Cause disagrees with Galvin’s rationale:
The most effective and efficient way to vote during the pandemic is for every voting-eligible resident to receive a ballot in the mail, Pam Wilmot of Common Cause said.
To require voters to request a ballot and then make municipalities send them the ballot is not practical, given that 70-80% of voters could choose the mail-in option, according to Wilmot.
“That is a huge, huge administrative burden on local officials, many of whom are working by themselves or with one other person or part-time,” she said.