At-Large Chelsea City Councilor and Candidate for State Representative of the Second Suffolk District, Damali Vidot, recently recognized the Massachusetts Legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker for developing and implementing the Commonwealth’s first-ever vote by mail program. Today, she’s urging residents of the Second Suffolk District to vote early, to vote safely, and to vote by mail for the September 1 primary election.
Councilor Vidot reflected on the importance of the vote by mail program given the new and challenging hazards presented by COVID-19: “I want to recognize the Massachusetts Legislature and Governor Baker for introducing the Commonwealth’s first-ever vote by mail program. In Chelsea, the hotspot of COVID-19, and in Charlestown, this is an essential measure that will ensure that everyone has access to voting—the most fundamental right of our democracy.”
At the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts, Chelsea quickly emerged as the vulnerable hotspot in the state. The infection rate and deaths surpassed even the hardest hit boroughs of New York City at the time. While Charlestown’s infection rates were the lowest among Boston neighborhoods, the impacts to residents, businesses, and to community continue to be deeply felt by all.
As a result, Councilor Vidot is urging residents to “vote safely and vote by mail to ensure that your voice is heard and counted. At a time when there is still much uncertainty about the path forward, we must ensure that the residents of Charlestown, Chelsea, and the Commonwealth have their right to vote protected.”
Earlier in July, Governor Baker signed a bill authorizing vote by mail for the first time in the history of Massachusetts. Residents who were registered to vote by July 1 will receive, or should have already received, an application for an absentee ballot to vote in the September 1 primary election in which Vidot is running for State Representative. In order to request a ballot, voters must promptly return the application to their local election office if choosing to vote by mail. The deadline to apply for a ballot is Wednesday, August 26 – although voters are strongly encouraged to do so sooner to ensure they receive a ballot in a timely fashion. Once a ballot is received, voters should fill it out and return it promptly using the included prepaid postage.
The deadline to apply for a ballot is Wednesday, August 26 – although voters are strongly encouraged to do so sooner to ensure they receive a ballot in a timely fashion.
People who have not received a ballot application may fill out an application online through the Secretary of The Commonwealth’s Office and email or mail a signed copy to their local city clerk’s office.
Councilor Vidot has been an effective leader throughout COVID-19, organizing with her community to secure PPE, food and financial assistance, and housing stabilization funds as part of a large-scale emergency response to the crisis. At the center of her work, Vidot’s leadership is “firmly rooted in community, and in ensuring that hard-working families have a seat at the table to build their own future.” Voting by mail, she continued, “is a critical step in our ‘new normal’ to ensure that everyone’s voice is included as we look to build an equitable future together.”