Amendment #10, as changed to H.3772

Technical changes to Election Laws Bill

Mr. Murphy move that the bill be amended by striking out section 5 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-



" SECTION 5. Chapter 54 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 25A the following section:-



Section 25B. (a) The local election officers and registrars of every city or town shall provide for a period of early voting for a qualified voter, as defined in section 1 of chapter 51, in order to cast a ballot during any election involving a presidential primary or presidential election.



(b) The voting period for early voting shall begin on the eleventh day before the primary or election and continue through the second day before the primary or election during the regular or normal business hours of the city or town clerk; provided, however, that if the eleventh day before the primary or election falls on a legal holiday the early voting period shall begin on the first weekday prior thereto. A city or town may, in addition to providing for early voting during regular or normal business hours and at the discretion of the registrars for the city or town, provide for additional early voting hours beyond the regular or normal hours, including weekend hours.



(c) For the purposes of early voting, an early voting location shall include a city hall election office and a town hall clerk’s office; provided, however, that if the office is deemed unavailable or unsuitable for the purposes of early voting, the registrars of each city or town may identify and provide for an alternative centrally-located, suitable and convenient early voting location within each city or town for use during the early voting period. A city or town may also provide for additional early voting locations at the discretion of the registrars for that city or town. Each early voting location shall be accessible to persons with disabilities.



(d) The registrars for each city or town shall publish the location of the early voting location as well as the applicable dates and hours. Publication shall occur during the week prior to the commencement of the early voting period and at least once during the period. Notice of the location, dates and hours of early voting shall be sent to every newspaper listed in the New England Newspaper Directory, located in that city or town. Notice of the locations, dates and hours of early voting shall also be conspicuously posted in the office of the city clerk or in the principal official bulletin board of each city or town, on any other public building deemed necessary, and on the city or town’s website, if any.



(e) The state secretary shall provide a sufficient number of early voting ballots to the registrars of each city or town for use during the early voting period. The ballots shall be delivered to the registrars of each city or town 21 days in advance of the primary or election.



(f) Early voting ballots shall be provided to each qualified voter who participates in early voting.



(g) Prior to the commencement of early voting, the registrars for each city or town shall prepare a list for the early voting location, containing the names and residences of all persons qualified to vote therein, as the same appear upon the annual register, and shall reasonably transmit the same to the election officers at every early voting location designated by the registrars.



(h) The presiding election officer at the early voting location shall cause to be placed on the voting lists opposite the name of a qualified voter who participates in early voting the letters “EV” designating an early voter.



(i) At the end of each day during the early voting period, the presiding election officer shall separate, compile, and record early voting ballots cast at each early voting location into the appropriate ward and precinct.



(j) The ballot boxes for early voting shall be sealed and locked and maintained securely by the election officers.



(k) The registrars for each city or town shall designate a location for the counting of early voting ballots. All totals shall be added to the totals at the relevant wards and precincts.



(l) The state secretary shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the requirements of this section.”