MassGOP Chairman Jim Lyons taking new unconstitutional universal mail-in voting law to court
Making this particular pandemic-era policy permanent will not hold up in court
June 23, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Evan Lips, communications director
617-523-5005 ext. 245
WOBURN — Permanently changing the way Massachusetts citizens vote is unconstitutional and will be challenged in the state’s highest court, Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons said Thursday, minutes after the filing of a lawsuit aimed at overturning the Legislature’s passage of law that codifies universal no-fault mail-in voting.
“There’s a reason why we have three branches of government, and we’re confident that the Supreme Judicial Court will strike down and expose the Democrats’ unconstitutional permanent expansion of mail-in voting,” Lyons said.
The Massachusetts Constitution, Lyons pointed out, lists just three instances whereby citizens can vote absentee during elections: If they’re out-of-town, physically disabled, or have a religious-based conflict with Election Day.
“The Democrat-dominated Legislature has a history of passing unconstitutional laws,” Lyons said, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014 unanimously struck down the Legislature’s abortion center “buffer zone” law, which was enacted in 2007. “In that instance, it took seven years for a clearly unconstitutional law to be overturned.”
Lyons noted that while Gov. Charlie Baker signed the current mail-in voting legislation into law earlier this month, Democrats nearly a decade ago acknowledged that a constitutional amendment would be required in order to enact universal no-fault mail-in voting.
“The Legislature in this instance is acutely aware that the law they just passed is unconstitutional,” Lyons said. “They’ve gone on record admitting as much.”
In 2013, lawmakers considered universal no-fault mail-in voting during a constitutional convention but stopped short of advancing it. During those deliberations, Secretary of State William Galvin acknowledged that the proposal would require a constitutional amendment.
“In Massachusetts, eligibility for absentee is contained in the state constitution so you have to amend the constitution to provide that kind of service. We have supported efforts to do so. The Legislature has not passed them therefore they have not gone before the people, which they would have to if we were to go to that,” Galvin said at the time, according to a State House News Service report.
“The Democrats ignored the advice that Secretary Galvin gave them in 2013 and violated their responsibility as legislators by ignoring the Massachusetts Constitution,” Lyons said. “We refuse to let them get away with it.
In Massachusetts, and in America, the rule of law matters. Just because you have the votes doesn’t mean you get to have your way and trample on the Constitution.”