Randolph Petitions > Absentee Voting
Expanding municipal voter turnout
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We, the below-signed registered voters of the town of Randolph Massachusetts, hereby request that the Town Council, Town Manager, and Town Clerk adopt the following principles regarding early voting, absentee voting, and mail-in voting:
- The November 2020 election enjoyed record high 76% voter turnout due to rules encouraging absentee voting and mail-in voting.
- Randolph municipal elections suffer under 20% voter turnout due to lack of opportunity for absentee voting and mail-in voting.
- Randolph should apply the same rules as the successful 2020 elections, for the 2021 elections and for all future elections.
- Those rules include: multi-week period for early voting; no-excuse absentee ballots; and full publicity for mail-in & early voting.
- We seek to change the scheduling of municipal elections from odd years to even years, to coincide with state and federal elections/
Background and Purpose
- The November 2019 elections enjoyed the highest voter turnout in American history (66.7% of eligible voters; the previous record was 61.6% in 2008).
- The reason for the high turnout was simple: states made it easier to vote, due to the pandemic.
- For example, "No excuse absentee ballots" means any person can request an absentee ballot without giving a reason -- in previous years, voters had to have a reason to request an absentee ballot.
- Why not keep those same rules for the future?
- At the federal level, H.R.1, the "For The People Act", does exactly that.
- But that won't apply to municipal elections, unless we push to make that happen!
- Another way to improve municipal voter turnout is to hold municipal elections at the same time as state and federal elections, in November of even-numbered years.
- Take a look at the figures below to see why this would greatly increase voter participation -- because more people vote in those elections!
Numbers to substantiate why voting in even years would greatly increase voting rates:
|23,010 ||= number of registered Randolph voters ||100%|
|17,180 ||= votes in Nov 2020 presidential election ||75%|
|7,324 ||= votes in March 2020 presidential primary ||32%|
|4,470 ||= votes in Nov 2019 municipal election ||19% Let's fix this!|
|10,920 ||= votes in Nov 2018 state/federal election ||47%|
|3,998 ||= votes in Sept 2018 state primary election||17%|
- Moving municipal elections to even years will more than double participation
- Compare: Nov. 2018 state election had 2.5x the voters of 2019 municipal election
- Compare: Nov. 2020 federal election had 4x the voters of 2019 municipal election