The new law, “An Act Relative To Voting In Response To COVID-19” provides voters expanded options to increase voter participation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill mandates:
EARLY VOTING BY MAIL APPLICATION:
- Requires the Secretary of State to mail all registered voters an application to vote early by mail, on July 15th for the September 1st
- Voters must mail application to their local city or town clerk within 7 days of the primary election.
EARLY VOTING BY MAIL:
- The city or town clerk will mail a ballot and a return postage pre-paid envelope to any voter who applies.
- Allows voters to return their early voting ballot by mail, secure drop box, or in person.
EARLY VOTING IN PERSON:
- Provides 7 days of in person early voting in the primary, from Saturday, August 22nd, to Friday August 28th.
IN PERSON VOTING PUBLIC HEALTH SAFEGUARDS:
- Requires voting officials to promulgate regulations for public health safeguards, including social distancing, face coverings, sanitizers, and sanitary use of marking pens.