Jul 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Massachusetts high court rejects GOP's challenge to mail-in voting

A woman drops off her mail-in ballot at City Hall in Boston during the primary election on Sept. 1, 2020.
A woman drops off her mail-in ballot at City Hall in Boston during the primary election on Sept. 1, 2020. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Monday rejected the state's GOP challenge to a law that makes no-excuse mail voting permanent and expands early voting options.

Driving the news: Monday's ruling allows millions of voters to cast their ballot before the state's Sept. 6 primary with no reason needed and creates more options for voting, among other reforms, per the Boston Globe.

  • A final ruling ahead of the state's November elections will come at a later date, per the court order.

State of play: The state's Republican Party argued that the new law, called the VOTES Act, is unconstitutional and that the expansion of mail voting is "vulnerable to fraud," per the Boston Globe.

  • "We think the potential for fraud, while not eliminated, is significantly lessened when votes are cast in person at the polling place," the party's lawyer wrote.

The other side: Attorney General Maura Healey in an 87-page brief filed last week said that the GOP "fails to articulate a single plausible claim that anything in the VOTES Act poses a threat to secure voting," adding that the party is "scaremongering," per the Globe.

The big picture: Monday's ruling is the latest in a number of state challenges to voting rules ahead of the midterms elections.

  • Wisconsin's conservative-led Supreme Court ruled Friday that absentee voter drop boxes are illegal under the state's constitution.

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