Monday, October 27, 2008

Early Voting Sounds Practical. Can you vote early in Massachusetts?

I sent this "Can you vote early in Massachusetts?" question into the Secretary of State's office.
With the increased interest in this year's election, could people fill out absentee ballots ahead of time even if they are NOT going to be away from their polling place on election day?
Here's their reply:
Dear Mr. Garfield:

In Massachusetts there are three reasons for voting by absentee ballot: absence from the city or town during the voting hours, physical disability prevents a voter from going to the polling place, or religious beliefs in conflict with the act of voting on the day on which such election is to be held. Mass. Const. Amend. Art. LXV; M. G. L. c. 54, § 86.

There are criminal penalties for illegal absentee voting. M. G. L. c. 56, §§ 27, 27A.

Elections Division

Here's the language for Chapter 56: Section 27.
Absent voting laws; violations

Section 27. Whoever, not being entitled to vote under the laws relative to absent voting, votes or attempts to vote thereunder or whoever being entitled to vote under said laws knowingly votes or attempts to vote in violation thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars and by imprisonment for not more than five years.

I'm not a fan of "We've always done it this way." answers.

Time for a change.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:45 PM

    While we're at it, can we get Vote by mail?

    Cheaper, faster, and better access.