With the early voting period beginning tomorrow in Massachusetts, the ACLU today launched new Know Your Rights materials for voters. The new resource seeks to educate voters on their voting rights on November 3, including how to vote in person after requesting a mail-in ballot.
“In an unprecedented election year, voters must be educated on how, where, and when they can vote, and how to advocate for their constitutional right to cast a ballot when obstacles are thrown in their way,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “The ACLU has been at the frontlines to protect and expand the right to vote for all eligible voters. Now, we’re calling on voters to make a plan, return their ballot where they can, and to encourage their friends to do the same.”
According to the new Know Your Rights materials, Massachusetts voters can vote in person during the early voting period or on Election Day if they requested a mail-in ballot but did not mail it back. Eligible voters can also vote in person if their mail-in ballot has not yet been received by election officials; the mail-in ballot will be rejected if it is later received. So long as there is not an “X” next to a voter’s name on the voting list—which indicates the mail-in ballot has been received and accepted—the voter can still cast their ballot in person during early voting or on Election Day.
Voters who believe they have been wrongly denied the right to cast an in-person ballot are advised to show the Know Your Rights materials to a supervisor at the polling place, or to call the Election Modernization Coalition hotline.
For 100 years, the ACLU has worked to promote access to the ballot and fight voter suppression. This election season, the ACLU has filed over 30 legal actions in 20 states to ensure safe access to the ballot in November. Here in Massachusetts, the ACLU worked with voting rights organizations and lawmakers to pass legislation to enable widespread voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. In advance of the general election, the ACLU of Massachusetts is training hundreds of poll monitors to help protect in-person voting across the Commonwealth.