If you mark your ballot for the Nov. 3 election and mail it in before shuffling off this mortal coil, be assured you can still rest in peace. Your vote will be counted. 

Temporary legislation passed on Beacon Hill this summer to address aspects of the pandemic allows Massachusetts voters who mark and mail in a ballot, but die before Election Day, to still have their votes counted. More than a dozen other states already allow those votes to be counted but lawmakers approved this law for the Bay State applying only to the 2020 vote.

There’s no way to know how many votes this will apply to come Nov. 3, but the legislation makes sense. Once can assume the voter marks the ballot and mails it, expecting it to count, even though they can’t know they won’t live to see the results.

With all the focus on ensuring the veracity of voting – and claims about the likelihood of widespread fraud, which have been disputed by the FBI – a provision allowing votes from people who have since died could be fodder for conspiracy theorists. The likelihood of huge numbers of ballots being mailed in this month – and evidence the U.S. Postal Service is being hobbled by its top administrators – further fans the flames.

You should feel confident that you can vote in person on Nov. 3, if you’re comfortable doing so, or during the early voting period, which begins Saturday, Oct. 17, and runs through Friday, Oct. 30. The third option is voting by mail, as long as you are registered to vote, fill out the ballot and sign it where required, and ensure it’s postmarked by Election Day. 

We wish you good health and a long life, no matter how you vote.


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