Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation to expand mail-in and early voting in Massachusetts. Secretary of State William Galvin made the announcement on Monday afternoon.
Due to COVID-19 risks, this law hopes to ensure maximum participation in the election while keeping voters safe.
Galvin is preparing to mail applications to all 4.5 million registered voters in the state. The goal is to mail them out by next week.
According to WBUR, for the first time in the state’s history during an election, voters who want to do so can cast a ballot via mail without needing to qualify for an absentee ballot.
The new law also creates the state’s first-ever early voting period before a primary election, from Aug. 22 to Aug. 28, and expands general election early voting to run from Oct. 17 to Oct. 30.
Registered voters who wish to vote by mail will receive an application they should sign and send back to receive a ballot. Voters registered by July 1 will receive the application, which is pre-addressed and doesn’t need postage, for the primary.
A second mailing of applications will happen in September for voters who have not applied to vote by mail in the general election.
The application has to reach local election offices no later than four business days before the election – which means Aug. 26 for the primary and Oct. 28 for the general election