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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1018         FILED ON: 1/15/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 615

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Aaron Michlewitz

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to creating access to early voting .

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Aaron Michlewitz

3rd Suffolk

Kevin G. Honan

17th Suffolk

Josh S. Cutler

6th Plymouth

Jason M. Lewis

31st Middlesex

Robert M. Koczera

11th Bristol

Denise Provost

27th Middlesex

Michael J. Finn

6th Hampden

Ann-Margaret Ferrante

5th Essex

Paul J. Donato

35th Middlesex

William N. Brownsberger

Second Suffolk and Middlesex

Peter V. Kocot

1st Hampshire

Gailanne M. Cariddi

1st Berkshire

Frank I. Smizik

15th Norfolk

Louis L. Kafka

8th Norfolk

James J. Dwyer

30th Middlesex

Ruth B. Balser

12th Middlesex

Kay Khan

11th Middlesex

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

Jay R. Kaufman

15th Middlesex

Jonathan Hecht

29th Middlesex

Denise Andrews

2nd Franklin

Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex

Michael Barrett

Third Middlesex

Jeffrey Sánchez

15th Suffolk

Daniel B. Winslow

9th Norfolk

David M. Rogers

24th Middlesex

Jennifer E. Benson

37th Middlesex

Carlos Henriquez

5th Suffolk

Edward F. Coppinger

10th Suffolk

Timothy R. Madden

Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex

Daniel A. Wolf

Cape and Islands

Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk

Thomas P. Conroy

13th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1018        FILED ON: 1/15/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 615

By Mr. Michlewitz of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 615) of Aaron Michlewitz and others for legislation to establish procedures for early voting in elections in cities and towns.  Election Laws. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act relative to creating access to early voting .
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 4A of chapter 51 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- In any municipality or districts that chooses to adopt the provisions of section 163 of chapter 54, the registrars shall notify all registered voters of the opportunity to vote prior to the election.

              SECTION 2. Section 17 of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “At” the following words:- early voting locations,

              SECTION 3. Section 33H of chapter 54 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-  In any municipality or district that accepts the provisions of section 163, election officers at early voting locations shall consist of a warden, a deputy warden, a clerk and deputy clerk and as many inspectors and deputy inspectors as the city or town clerk determines to be necessary.

              SECTION 4. Chapter 54 is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

              Section 163. Early voting shall be permitted in any municipality or district which accepts the provisions of this section.  Early voting shall begin no earlier than the fourteenth day prior to any biennial state election, special state election, any state primary preceding a biennial state election, or special state primary preceding a special state election and no later than the Saturday preceding the election. Any municipality that accepts the provisions of this section may choose to conduct early voting on any combination of days within the timeframe established in this section. The early voting period shall end at the close of polls on the day preceding the day before the election. Cities and towns may also provide for early voting in elections not held in conjunction with State elections.

              The registrars of each city or town shall identify and provide for at least one centrally-located and convenient polling location within each city or town for use during the early voting period.  In a city with a population of at least 100,000 residents according to the most recent enumerated federal census, the registrars of each city or town shall identify and provide for at least one centrally-located and convenient polling location within each ward of said city. The designation of an early voting polling location must be made 30 days in advance of the voting period.  The location and hours of the polling location are within the discretion of the registrars of each city or town.  However, each early voting polling location must be open for an aggregate of eight hours each day during the early voting period.  Further, the polling location shall be accessible to persons with disabilities and suitable voting machines shall be made available to all qualifies voters.

              The secretary of state must provide a sufficient number of early voting ballots and Early Voting Certificates to the registrars of each city or town for use during the early voting period.    The

              ballots and Early Voting Certificates must be delivered to the registrars of each city or town 14 days in advance of the early voting period. 

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

              Prior to the commencement of early voting, the registrars for each city or town shall prepare a list for the early voting polling place, 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 polling place designated by the registrars.

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

              At the end of each day during the early voting period, the presiding election officer shall separate, compile, and record early ballots cast at each polling location into the appropriate ward and precinct.  The resulting list of early voters shall be updated daily and saved electronically by 5:00 P.M. on the day before election day, the list shall be forwarded to the appropriate ward and precinct location.

              Sections 24, 25, 25A, 65, 66, 72, 73, and 75 shall apply to polling places during early elections.

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

              The registrars for each city or town shall designate a location for the counting of early ballots. The early voting ballots shall be opened at the close of all polling locations on election day.  All totals shall be added to the totals at the relevant wards and precincts.

              locations on Election Day.  All totals shall be added to the totals at the relevant wards and precincts. 

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