MASSACHUSETTS: VOTE BY MAIL FOR SECURE ELECTIONS IN 2020
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR MASSACHUSETTS ELECTIONS OFFICIALS
ABOUT THIS RESOURCE
Sightline’s state-by-state guides are designed to give local election officials and legislators the information they need to identify and take the most important steps to get ready for November. Each set of state-specific resources includes best practices and established models from around the country, including practical nuts and bolts advice for clerks, materials from election administrators with experience conducting all mail elections, and information about vendors and costs.
How Massachusetts is prepared for Vote By Mail
- Uses voters’ signatures to verify ballots.
- Gives voters sufficient opportunity to cure signature problems.
- Automatically registers voters.
- Allows clerks to start processing mailed ballots upon receipt.
RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR SECURE ELECTIONS
Within each section, recommendations are arranged roughly in order of importance and ease of implementation.
For Local Election Officials
- Coordinate with USPS.
- Design ballots and envelopes that are easy to use.
- Implement robust signature verification.
- Provide secure drop boxes.
- Provide Election Day vote centers for in-person voting.
- Consider using a professional printer and ballot sorter.
- Count ballots at a secure centralized facility.
For Massachusetts’s Secretary of State
- Use a comprehensive system to track ballots.
- Join the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).
- Account for voters with nontraditional addresses.
- Give voters a “single sign-up” option.
- Allow counties to accept ballots postmarked on Election Day.
- Allow voters to request an absentee ballot online.
- Allow voters to request replacement ballots online.
- Allow community organizations to collect and deliver sealed ballots.
- Automatically register voters and update their address.
Download the full Massachusetts action packet, with detailed information for each recommendation.
Massachusetts's Grade for Vote By Mail preparedness = D-
Our grading system: We evaluated each state on 16 factors, covering access, administration efficiency, security, and infrastructure.
SEND THIS RESOURCE TO massachusetts’ secretary of the commonwealth:
William Galvin, email@example.com
SEND THIS RESOURCE TO massachusetts’ director and legal counsel:
Michelle Tassinari, Michelle.Tassinari@sec.state.ma.us
We welcome your questions and feedback. Email Kristin Eberhard, director of Sightline’s Democracy research program. Press inquiries: Anna Fahey.
Photos: Vote By Mail in Massachusetts. Shutterstock.