MEDIA ADVISORY: Voting Rights Organizations to Testify at Hearing on COVID & Fall Elections Bills

    Media Contacts




Media Contact: Pam Wilmot, Common Cause Massachusetts

617 962 0034 |


MEDIA ADVISORY: Voting Rights Organizations to Testify at Hearing on COVID & Fall Elections Bills Tomorrow/Thursday 1pm – 5pm


Media are invited to observe the public hearing by the Joint Committee on Election Laws on bills to enable safe, accessible and secure voting in the fall elections.


WHO: Voting rights organizations including Common Cause Massachusetts, MassVOTE, the League of Women Voters, and the ACLU of Massachusetts.


WHAT:  Testimony before the Joint Committee on Election Laws in support of HD 5075, An Act Ensuring Safe and Participatory 2020 State Elections in Response to COVID-19.


WHEN:  Tomorrow, Thursday, May 14, starting at 1pm. Speakers are expected to give four minutes of remarks, followed by six minutes of Q&A from Committee members. Advocates will testify towards the end of the hearing and are currently scheduled from 3:15-4:15, although that could change.


WHERE: Senator Barry Finegold’s Facebook page at


WHY: HD 5075 has over 80 co-sponsors in the legislature and has been endorsed by over 70 organizations since it was filed by Representatives Michael Moran and John Lawn last week. Lead Senate co-sponsors include Senators Eric Lesser, Adam Hinds, and Harriette Chandler.


The bill will do the following to help voters participate in fall elections despite the coronavirus threat:

  • require the Secretary of State to mail ballots to all Massachusetts voters before the November election without an application required;
  • affirm coronavirus concerns as a reason to allow all voters to vote by absentee ballot in the September primary and November general elections;
  • require the Secretary of State to establish a statewide online portal for voters to apply for and track the progress of absentee ballots;
  • allow two weeks of early voting before the September primary, and three weeks of early voting before the November election;
  • allow election officials to scan absentee and early voting ballots in the clerk’s offices when they are received – but not permit results to be calculated or announced until the polls close;
  • change the deadline to register to vote or update voter registrations to 10 days before the election;
  • allow general election ballots postmarked on or before November 3 to be counted, as long as they are received by November 13; and
  • require the Secretary of State to issue regulations governing public health safeguards at early voting sites and polling places to protect voters and poll workers.


The hearing will also include Secretary of Commonwealth Galvin’s proposal, as well as bills filed by Senator Cynthia Creem (S2653), by Senator Rebecca Rausch (2654), by Representative Jeffrey Roy and Representative Jon Santiago (HD 5066), Representative Paul Mark and Lindsay Sabodosa (H4623), by Representative Tami Gouveia (HD 5077), Representative Jeffrey Roy (H4699) and by Senator Paul Feeney (SD 2963).


The hearing will be live-streamed on Senator Barry Finegold’s Facebook page at


Organizations endorsing HD 5075 include:

Common Cause Massachusetts

The ACLU of Massachusetts

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts



The Massachusetts Voter Table

1199 SEIU Massachusetts

NAACP-Boston Branch

Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition

Mass Communities Action Network

Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts

Sierra Club Massachusetts Chapter

Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association


Environmental League of Massachusetts

Worcester Interfaith

Progressive Massachusetts

Unitarian Universalist Mass Action

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Reclaim Our Democracy

Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution

Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice

The Real Cost of Prisons Project

End Mass Incarceration Together

Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action

Massachusetts Peace Action

Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts

Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee


Voter Choice for Massachusetts 2020

Small Planet Institute

Indivisible Martha’s Vineyard

Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Rosie’s Place

Indivisible Northampton


The Equal Democracy Project at Harvard Law School


Criminal Justice Reform Task Force of Congregation Dorshei Tzedek

Burlington Democratic Town Committee

MAPS-Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers

Greater Boston Section-National Council of Negro Women

MA Association of Community Development Corporations

Arise for Social Justice

La Comunidad, Inc

Chilmark Democratic Town Committee

Progressive For Democracy in America

Clean Water Action MA

Four Freedoms Coalition

Coalition for Social Justice

Racial Justice Rising

National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter


American Promise

Berkshire Democratic Brigades

Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance

YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts

YWCA Cambridge

YWCA Malden

American Federation of Teachers-MA

Right to the City Boston

Alternatives for Community and Environment

City Life Vida Urbana

New England United for Justice

Black Directors’ Network

Somerville Democratic City Committee

Young Democrats of Massachusetts




The Election Modernization Coalition is comprised of the ACLU of Massachusetts, Common Cause Massachusetts, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, MASSPIRG, MassVOTE, and the Massachusetts Voter Table.