State court to hear arguments in GOP mail-in voting suit

Massachusetts’ highest court is hearing arguments Wednesday in a Republican challenge to mail-in voting, which the state GOP contends is unconstitutional.

The state Republican Party is challenging the VOTES Act, a voting rights bill Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law late last month that makes mail-in ballots and early voting permanent fixtures in Massachusetts elections, starting with the Sept. 6 primary.

The new law, which passed the Democrat-controlled state legislature by wide margins, also increases ballot access for voters with disabilities, service members overseas and those incarcerated as well as takes steps to modernize the state’s election administration process.

Many of the voting options included in the new law were implemented during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and proved popular.

But the GOP, in a lawsuit filed the day after Baker signed the bill into law, claimed mail ballots are vulnerable to fraud.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, a Democrat whose office oversees elections, responded in legal filings that the GOP lawsuit offers “nothing more than unsupported theories and threadbare – and often mistaken – allegations” as to why the new law is unconstitutional.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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