The highest court in Massachusetts threw out a challenge on July 11 to absentee voting rules brought by state Republicans, a move that allows voters to submit mail-in ballots in the September primary election without having to provide an excuse.
A brief unsigned order indicates the court will release a “full opinion explaining the court’s reasoning” in “due course.”
Republicans had argued that the state’s VOTES Act, which Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, signed into law last month, was unconstitutional because the measure needed to be approved by voters. The party also argued that making no-excuse voting-by-mail and early voting permanent in the state was a bad idea because the policies increase the likelihood of fraud.
After the measure, which made temporary relaxations of voting rules enacted at the height of the pandemic permanent, was signed, state officials reportedly began getting ready to mail out more than 4.7 million ballot applications to voters for the upcoming primary.
GOP attorney Michael Walsh told the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court last week that the Massachusetts Legislature went out-of-bounds when it made early voting and voting-by-mail the new normal in the state, The Eagle-Tribune reported at the time.
Walsh referenced a 1917 amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that said voters should only be allowed to cast mail or absentee ballots if they are disabled, away from home on Election Day, or possess religious objections to voting in person.
“Therefore, we assert that any kind of absentee or mail-in voting must comply [with constitutional articles] or else they are on their face outside of the authority of the Legislature,” the lawyer told the court.
Two plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Jim Lyons, who is chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, and Rayla Campbell, the party’s candidate for secretary of state, said they would promptly ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling in the hope that the federal judiciary would “provide relief to prevent a constitutional travesty,” according to MassLive.
This is an excerpt from The Epoch Times.