By Bob Katzen
The Senate 13-25, rejected an amendment that would require each city and town to have at least one ballot drop box for voters to deposit their ballots from the day the ballots are printed and available to voters until the polls close on Election Day.
The amendment requires municipalities with more than 25,000 voters to provide one drop box per 25,000 voters and requires the boxes to be in a public location that is accessible to voters for at least 12 hours per day.
“During the 2020 election, we witnessed how the expanded use of ballot drop boxes provided a safe, convenient and accessible way of voting amid a global pandemic,” said amendment sponsor Sen. Becca Rausch (D-Needham). “However, in some of our largest cities and smaller towns, drop boxes were not a viable voting option because they weren’t accessible, weren’t open or didn’t even exist. We can fix that problem setting baseline standards for municipal ballot drop box accessibility.”
“Mandating that municipalities maintain one ballot drop box per 25,000 residents would create substantial new costs and obligations,” said Sen. Cindy Creem (D-Newton). “Not only would municipalities have to purchase and deploy the drop box, they would have to devote staff time to the periodic collection of ballots and to collecting ballots on Election Day when they are already stretched thin.”