Massachusetts governor signs bill allowing residents to vote by mail in 2020

While President Donald Trump and most Republican politicians have declared their opposition to mail-in voting, one prominent GOP leader has bucked the trend.

Charlie Baker, the Republican governor of Massachusetts, signed a bill on Monday that will allow all of the state’s residents to vote by mail in the upcoming primary and the November general election, according to The Hill.

Mail-in voting for all

The announcement was made on Twitter by the Elections Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“A bill has just been signed into law that will allow all Mass. voters to vote by mail without an excuse in any 2020 election,” it reads.

The message then provides a link to a website where more details about the new voting option are given.

In part, it reads: “As required by the new law, a Vote by Mail application will be mailed to every person who was registered to vote by July 1 and who had not already requested an absentee ballot for the State Primary or for all elections this year.”

“A second mailing,” it continues, “will be sent out in September to all voters who have not already applied for a Vote by Mail ballot for the November election. The applications are pre-addressed to your local election official and no postage is necessary.”

Then, those looking to vote by mail will have to send these ballots to their local election office “no later than 4 business days before the election.”

Controversial move

Mail-in voting is something that has long been pushed by Democrats as a solution to the problem of how best to conduct elections this year without risking further spread of the coronavirus at the polls.

While it would perhaps help alleviate some concerns of that nature, President Trump has repeatedly expressed his disapproval of such an approach, arguing that it will open the door to voter fraud.

“There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent,” the president tweeted at the end of May. “Mailboxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed.”

With states across the country currently seeing a surge in coronavirus infections and predictions that a second wave may take root in the fall, whether or not the concept of mail-in voting will gain real traction in additional jurisdictions prior to November remains to be seen.

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