Tag Archives: voters’ rights

Massachusetts Voters’ Bill of Rights: your voting rights are protected

Print out and take this Massachusetts Voters’ Bill of Rights to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 6. … THIS IS THE LAW. (We have made bold some sentences.) – R. Tirella

Massachusetts Voters’ Bill of Rights

Your voting rights are protected. These rights are guaranteed to qualified registered voters.

You have the right to vote if you are a qualified registered voter.

You have the right to cast your ballot in a manner that ensures privacy. You have the right to vote without any person trying to influence your vote and to vote in a booth that prevents others from watching you mark your ballot.

You have the right to remain in the voting booth for five (5) minutes if there are other voters waiting and for ten (10) minutes if there are no other voters waiting.

You have the right to receive up to two (2) replacement ballots if you make a mistake and spoil your ballot.

You have the right to request assistance when voting from anyone of your choice. If you do not bring someone with you, you have the right to have two (2) poll workers assist you.

You have the right to vote if you are disabled. The polling place must be accessible, and there must be an accessible voting booth.

You have the right to vote if you cannot read or write or cannot read or write English.

You have the right to vote but must show identification if: you are a first-time voter who registered to vote by mail and did not submit identification with the voter registration form; or your name is on the inactive voter list; or your vote is being challenged; or if requested by a poll worker. Acceptable forms of identification are: Massachusetts driver’s license, other printed documentation containing your name and address such as a recent utility bill, rent receipt on landlord’s letterhead, lease, or a copy of a voter registration acknowledgment or receipt.

You have the right to vote by absentee ballot if: you will be absent from your city or town on Election Day; or if you have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place; or if you cannot vote at the polls due to religious belief.

You have the right to cast a provisional ballot if you believe you are a qualified registered voter but a poll worker tells you that you are ineligible to vote. You have the right to follow up any challenge to your right to vote through the complaint process.

You have the right to vote if you are not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction and have registered as a voter after your release.

You have the right to take this Voters’ Bill of Rights or any other papers, including a sample ballot, voter guide or campaign material into the voting booth with you. Please remember to remove all papers when you leave the booth.

You have the right to vote at your polling place any time between 7am and 8pm for state and federal elections – hours may vary for local elections. If you are in line at your polling place when the polls close at 8 pm, you have the right to vote.

You have the right to bring your children into the voting booth with you.

If you feel that your right to vote has been violated in any way, call the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683). This call is free within Massachusetts.

The Voter Protection Network meets this Wed., 6:15 p.m.

By Rosalie Tirella

We believe District 4 City Councilor Sarai Rivera’s account of the hard time she was given during the recent election day: People who shouldn’t have gotten into her face at the Murray Ave polling station DID get into her face.

Election Day is not Intimidation Day! So let the state investigate this mess and sanction people who broke the law (if the state finds they did indeed break the law).

Of course, this being Worcester, the Powers That Be protect their idiot pals/relatives and circle the wagons and say NO to any investigation. Let’s keep all this on the QT, says official Worcester. Why call attention to the city? Why give our voting officials a very public black eye?

Well, it has nothing to do with how the rest of the state/country perceives Worcester. It has everything to do with people being allowed to exercise their franchise on Election Day in their city – in their country, America. Home of the FREE.

So …

To learn more about your rights and organize around this and other important voting issues, please attend the Voter Protection Network meeting at the YWCA, 1 Salem Sq., Worcester, on Wednesday, September 26. The meeting begins at 6:15 p.m.

Need more info? Call Chris Robarge at 508.444.2258

The Voter Protection Network is a coalition of Worcester County Organizations, and it is making the following requests in response to the Election Day events at several Worcester polling locations, INCLUDING: requesting “the names of anyone who was removed from polling locations by the Worcester Police Department, or asked to leave by the Worcester City Clerk, be submitted by the CITY OF WORCESTER to the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Commission and the City Solicitor’s Office to be reviewed and recommended for potential sanctions.

We don’t think this is too much to ask of city officials. Unless they think Worcester poll workers and other city officials can violate people’s civil rights – any old time.