GOP Must Adapt to New Voting Landscape

by Matt Murphy with help from Keith Regan, MASSterList

As it stands, there will be five new senators and 22 new representatives when the Legislature gavels into a new session in January.

All but one – Wrentham’s Marcus Vaughn – are Democrats.

Secretary of State William Galvin, himself a Democrat who is poised to begin his eighth term as the state’s top elections official, said Sunday that in both Massachusetts and other states around the country Republicans need to adapt to the changing voting landscape.

In Georgia, for instance, Galvin said U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock benefited in his runoff victory from strong voter turnout, which was aided by opportunities for voters to cast ballots early.

Early voting participation, particularly mail-in voting, has been lower among Republicans in Massachusetts than with Democrats. You can thank Trump for that. Some in the MassGOP are now pushing for the party to drop its opposition to mail-in voting and instead develop a strategy to use it to their advantage, as Democrats have.

“Republicans, whatever their resistance in the past, they have to overcome it if they’re going to compete,” Galvin told WCVB during his Sunday appearance on “On the Record.”

Despite the use of mail-in voting dropping off in the 2022 election from 2020, Galvin predicted it will only grow in popularity as the system becomes more refined and accepted. He also said he will renew his push in the new session for same-day voter registration, which would add another wrinkle to the process for parties and candidates to adjust to.

Thirty-seven percent of the ballots cast in November arrived by mail, while another 8 percent were cast early in-person.

“Most people here and around the country, I think, are choosing to be unaffiliated with any major party and vote, which reinforces the idea that people should have the right to vote any way they can,” Galvin said.

The Brighton Democrat also repeated his calls made last week for the Legislature to sequester funds raised through the voter-approved “millionaires tax” in a trust so that voters can see exactly how it gets spent on education and transportation. He also would like to see lawmakers create exemption from the new tax for senior, income-eligible residents on the value of a home sale.

He hasn’t even started his eighth term. But already the questions have started about the 72-year-old seeking an unprecedented ninth four-year term in 2026.

“I couldn’t answer that question,” Galvin said.

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