Issues Blog

Entries, updates on issue organizing and information, legislative action, and other material related to our Progressive Platform and Legislative Agenda

Voting Rights Advocates Applaud Emergency Election Legislation; Call for Additional Actions

Common Cause Massachusetts, MassVOTE, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, Progressive Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Voter Table today praised emergency legislation allowing municipalities to delay their spring elections until June, and expanding absentee and early voting by mail, among other reforms.

The bill, S. 2608, was passed yesterday and is expected to be signed by Governor Charles Baker imminently.

“Yesterday’s bill is a strong first step. However, there is no guarantee that the coronavirus crisis will have receded by September 1, when Massachusetts state primaries are scheduled, or even for the November elections,” the groups said. “The Election Modernization Coalition urges the Legislature to recognize that this crisis is of indeterminate length, and that we must also act quickly to ensure that the fall’s elections take place as scheduled, maximize participation, and maintain public health. To that end, the Legislature must protect the ability of all eligible voters to cast ballots from home in all elections, and ensure that in-person voting is as safe and participatory as possible.”

The full statement is below.

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🚨Actions You Can Take from Home During the COVID-19 Crisis (with UPDATES)

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Massachusetts is facing a crisis.

We have a public health crisis, as the number of those infected grows every day. We have an economic crisis, as the threat of a recession looms larger every day and workers risk weeks (or months) without a paycheck. And we have a democratic crisis, as the virus outbreak challenges our ability to hold traditional in-person elections.

And this is on top of the crises we already face, such as the inequality that affects all aspects of our society.

And our Legislature needs to respond with the requisite urgency and comprehensiveness. 

Can you email your state legislators to demand quick and comprehensive action? 

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Top 10 Excuses You’ll Hear for Why Your Legislator Voted Against Transparency

Last week, the Massachusetts House voted down three common sense transparency amendments to its rules package.

These amendments were simple good government proposals, requiring that...

  • Representatives be given a reasonable amount of time to read the final language of any bill they’re voting on
  • Representatives be given a reasonable amount of time to read any amendment submitted on the floor that they’ll be voting on
  • Hearing testimony (for/against) a bill and all votes taken in committee to be publicly available.

Yet they all failed, as most rank-and-file Democrats voted with House Leadership against them.

If you've reached out to your representatives since, they've probably given you a number of excuses. Spoiler: They're not very good ones.


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