Cam­bridge coun­cil firms up mail-in vot­ing for city elec­tion

Dorchester Star - - NEWS -

CAM­BRIDGE — The Cam­bridge City Coun­cil passed an emer­gency char­ter res­o­lu­tion dur­ing their tele­con­fer­enced meet­ing on Mon­day, July 13, that al­lows the city gov­ern­ment to hold an all mail-in vote dur­ing bal­lot­ing for city of­fices later this fall.

The emer­gency char­ter res­o­lu­tion, which clar­i­fies the au­thor­ity of the city man­ager as elec­tion su­per­vi­sor to use mail-in bal­lots for the Oct. 17 elec­tion, passed 3-2, with Com­mis­sion­ers Don­ald Syd­nor and LaShon Fos­ter vot­ing against.

Ac­cord­ing to City At­tor­ney Chip MacLeod, a sim­ple ma­jor­ity only vote was re­quired to pass the mea­sure be­cause of an ex­ec­u­tive or­der from Gov. Ho­gan in­tended to al­low mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to mod­ify the way elec­tions are con­ducted dur­ing the on­go­ing COVID-19 pan­demic re­sponse. MacLeod said that as part of that ex­ec­u­tive or­der, that the res­o­lu­tion had been re­viewed by the gov­er­nor’s le­gal of­fice.

Fos­ter said she dis­agreed with the mail-in method of vot­ing be­cause of the po­ten­tial for bal­lots not be­ing counted, and she said the process should con­form to state elec­tion law.

Two mem­bers of the pub­lic spoke against the res­o­lu­tion, and one spoke in fa­vor.

Mayor Vic­to­ria Jack­sonS­tan­ley ex­plained the his­tory of the change. The change of the tim­ing of the city elec­tion was ini­ti­ated by the prior coun­cil in 2016 in or­der to hold the vot­ing on the same day as the pres­i­den­tial gen­eral elec­tion, said Jack­son-Stan­ley.

She said the Dorch­ester County Board of Elec­tions said the elec­tion could not be held at the same time as the gen­eral elec­tion more than a year ago, and the city coun­cil has since opted to use a pri­vate ven­dor, use the City Man­ager as the Elec­tion Su­per­vi­sor, and hold the elec­tion on the third Satur­day in Oc­to­ber.

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