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Galvin Election Day warning advice mail ballots vote

Secretary of State Bill Galvin warns voters about mail-in ballot rules ahead of municipal elections across Massachusetts on Tuesday.

Tomorrow is election day for cities across Massachusetts, and Secretary of State Bill Galvin has some important advice and warnings for voters. At a press conference held at the Massachusetts State Library, Galvin emphasized the need for voters to be aware of the specific rules and deadlines for returning mail-in ballots, especially for local elections.

Galvin expressed concern about the misunderstanding surrounding the return of mail-in ballots for municipal elections, highlighting that there is no grace period for these ballots. According to the VOTES Act, signed into law by former Gov. Charlie Baker, all voters in Massachusetts can vote by mail without needing an excuse. However, despite this provision, a large number of voters who have received mail-in ballots are still holding onto them, unaware of the different rules for local elections.

The Secretary of State stressed the importance of ensuring that these ballots are received on time, as they must be in the hands of election officials by the time polls close in order to be counted. Galvin also mentioned that town drop boxes and town elections offices will accept mail-in ballots on election day, and voters who are unable to physically deliver their ballots can have them handed in by a family member.

Galvin highlighted the significance of local elections, emphasizing that local government has a substantial impact on areas such as education, taxes, development, housing, planning, and zoning. He urged voters to recognize the direct impact that these elections will have on their daily lives and stressed the importance of participating in the democratic process.

While Galvin expects a lower turnout than in 2021, especially in cities like Boston where there is no mayoral contest this cycle, he emphasized the importance of these local elections. He expressed disappointment that less than half of voters are expected to participate, despite the significant influence of these elections on local governance.

In terms of voter turnout, Galvin expects participation to range between 30% and 50%. He noted that some municipalities, particularly those in the Worcester and Hampden state senate district, have shown strong participation in mail-in voting, especially for special elections.

Despite his desire for higher turnout, Galvin expressed satisfaction with the attention that some local races have garnered, emphasizing the historical significance of these elections in shaping communities. He encouraged all eligible voters to make their voices heard and participate in the democratic process by casting their ballots in the upcoming local elections.

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