(BOSTON) – The Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday, March 11, 2021, passed legislation to extend mail-in voting and early voting options for elections held through the end of June, 2021. The vote-by-mail provision was previously set to expire at the end of March 2021.

“In light of the ongoing pandemic, it is essential that we continue to offer vote by mail to uphold public health protections and to ensure an engaged citizenry for a strong democracy,” said Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “This bill will ensure that all of our citizens are able to vote in the upcoming municipal elections without compromising their health and safety or the health and safety of others.”

The bill also allows municipalities to provide residents with the option to vote early in-person in these elections. Additionally, the legislation requires local election officials to make reasonable efforts to grant accommodations for voters with disabilities who might have difficulty accessing a paper mail-in ballot and request an accommodation. Also, cities and towns can postpone municipal elections and caucuses traditionally scheduled before June 30, 2021, until August 1, 2021.

The bill now advances to the Governor for consideration.