By Bob Katzen

Secretary of State Bill Galvin announced that for the first time in Massachusetts history, registered voters can apply for a mail ballot online through the secretary of state’s website at

Voters who have not already applied for a November ballot may use the portal to request a ballot from their local election office. Before requesting the ballot, each voter will need to verify their voter registration information.

“This new portal is just one more way for voters to request their ballots by mail this year,” Galvin said. “This online system will be helpful for those voters who are away from home right now and did not receive the Vote by Mail applications that were mailed to them recently. My hope is that this new online portal will cut down on the time it takes for voters to apply for their ballots, by eliminating the need for a local election official to wait for the application to arrive in the mail. This will allow voters to get their ballots sooner and return them in plenty of time for them to be counted.”

“Sending ballot applications directly to registered voters led to record participation this September — with nearly half the votes being cast via mail balloting,” said Rahsaan Hall of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “But we know those applications did not reach all voters, we are particularly concerned about low-income voters, the young and the elderly and voters of color in the commonwealth. The portal will help empower these voters to register, request a ballot and make sure the system works.

“In 2020, we keep saying, that in crisis there is danger and there is opportunity. With the launch of this portal through which people can easily apply for a ballot with a few clicks online, we seize the opportunity to make voting more accessible for all—a cause for celebration if ever there was one,” said Director Janet Domenitz of MASSPIRG.

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