Page 4 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, October 15, 2021 Sen. Lewis supports landmark voting reform legislation O Gerry D’Ambrosio Attorney-at-Law Is Your Estate in Order? Do you have an update Will, Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney? If Not, Please Call for a Free Consultation. 14 Proctor Avenue, Revere (781) 284-5657 n October 6, State Senator Jason Lewis joined colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate to pass S.2545, An Act fostering voter opportunities, trust, equity and security (the VOTES Act). This comprehensive voting reform bill permanently codifies the popular mail-in and early voting options used in Massachusetts in 2020. The bill would also enact same-day voter registration, increase ballot access for service members serving overseas and make a series of other improvements to the Commonwealth’s election adminiswww.eight10barandgrille.com We Have Reopened for Dine-In and Outside Seating every day beginning at 4 PM tration process. “Voting is a bedrock constitutional right for every citizen, and that’s why it’s vital that we apply the lessons of pandemic-era elections reforms to usher in a new period of strong ballot access and voter empowerment,” said Lewis. “In addition to establishing same-day voter registration, a standard in-person early voting period, and other important reforms, I’m particularly pleased that the VOTES Act will allow permanent no-excuse mail-in voting. Vote-by-mail has been a top priority for me ever since the 2020 elections proved that it is a secure, reliable and convenient way for many voters to exercise their franchise, and that’s why I filed legislation this session similar to the mail-in voting provision of the VOTES Act.” The Senate’s passage of the WE'RE OPEN! 8 Norwood Street, Everett (617) 387-9810 STAY SAFE! VOTES Act follows previous action by the state legislature to temporarily extend vote-bymail and early voting options through December 15. The VOTES Act now advances on to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for further consideration. all registered voters on July 15 of every even-numbered year; the Secretary of the Commonwealth would have the option to include these applications as part of mailings already required to be sent by the Secretary. • As in 2020, postage would be guaranteed for mail-in ballot applications and ballots. • As in 2020, mail-in ballots Jason Lewis State Senator The VOTES Act contains the following key provisions: Same-day voter registration • Individuals can register to vote during early voting periods or on the day of a primary or election. • Twenty other states and the District of Columbia already use same-day registration. Early voting in-person • The bill requires two weeks (including two weekends) of early voting in-person for biennial state elections and any municipal elections held on the same day. • The bill requires one week (including one weekend) of early voting in-person for a presidential or state primary and any municipal elections held on the same day. • The bill allows municipalities to opt-in to early voting in-person for any municipal election not held concurrently with another election. Permanent no-excuse mail-in voting • The bill requires the Secretary of the Commonwealth to send out mail-in ballot applications to Law Offices of Terrence W. Kennedy 512 Broadway, Everett • Criminal Defense • Personal Injury • Medical Malpractice Tel: (617) 387-9809 Cell: (617) 308-8178 twkennedylaw@gmail.com would be accepted for a biennial state election if mailed on or by Election Day and received by 5 p.m. on the third day after the election. Additional flexibility for local officials • The bill gives municipalities the option to set up secure drop boxes for mail-in ballots. • The bill allows election officials to pre-process mail-in and early voting ballots in advance of Election Day. • The bill gives municipalities discretion as to the use of a check-out list at a polling location. Accommodations for people with disabilities • The bill allows a voter with disabilities to request accommodations from the Secretary of the Commonwealth to vote by mail for state elections. • Accommodations include electronic and accessible instructions, ballot application and ballot and a voter affidavit that can be submitted electronically. Jail-based voting reforms • The bill helps ensure that individuals who are incarcerated who are currently eligible to vote are provided with voting information and materials to exercise their right to vote in every state primary and election. REFORM | SEE PAGE 9

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