When Massachusetts voters head to the polls next November, they’ll be able to cast their ballots more than two weeks ahead of Election Day. “Every year, we hear of people missing voting because their employers don’t necessarily give them the day off, or because they may have irregular work schedules, or because they have a family to care for,” said Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, executive director of nonprofit MassVOTE. “I don’t think it’s an excuse, but those are some of the reasons people give. We feel we’re removing the excuses and looking to increase participation.”
Beginning with the 2016 presidential election, Massachusetts will become the 35th state to allow early voting. In state and national general elections, Bay State residents will have the option of casting ballots in person up to 11 business days before Election Day.
Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office is working to create regulations and protocols for early voting after Massachusetts lawmakers passed a package of election reforms last year.