By Bob Katzen
The Senate 38-0, approved an amendment that would allow Massachusetts residents who are serving in the armed forces overseas and their families as well as any Massachusetts citizen living in a foreign country, to cast their vote electronically through a secure online portal.
Amendment supporters said that the current process for voting from overseas is complex and burdensome. The voter is required to communicate with their local clerk, receive their ballot, print it out and fax, scan or mail it back. They noted that military members often do not have functioning printers, scanners or fax machines available to them on military installations or are out on missions that take them away from their installations.
“When you are in the military, the focus is always on the mission at hand,” said sponsor Sen. John Velis (D-Westfield). “We as a commonwealth have an obligation to make this process as easy as poss ible so that our military members can exercise their right to vote and get back to their mission. At the most fundamental level, this amendment is about making it easier to vote for those who have given us our right to vote.”