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Zakim seeks weekend voting, expanded absentee options

Councilor Josh Zakim is challenging Secretary of State William Galvin in September’s primary.
Councilor Josh Zakim is challenging Secretary of State William Galvin in September’s primary.(Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff/File)

Secretary of state candidate Josh Zakim pledged this week to increase voter turnout if elected, offering up a package of reforms he said would make it easier for people to vote.

Meanwhile, the current officeholder, William Galvin, has been pursuing his own election reform initiatives aimed at expanding access to the polls, and plans on Thursday to join the Massachusetts Election Modernization Coalition “to announce a joint effort on Automatic Voter Registration.”

A Boston city councilor challenging Galvin in September’s Democratic primary, Zakim proposed scheduling elections on weekends, letting voters register on Election Day, expanding early voting, and allowing voters to cast absentee ballots without a providing a reason why they can’t go to the polls.

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“In the last nearly quartercentury since Secretary Galvin’s been in office, a lot has changed in our lives,” Zakim said in a press conference outside the State House.

“People are busier, they lead busier lives, they’re working longer hours, commuting further, and it’s not always easy for people to get to the polls on Tuesday, and there’s no reason to have this arbitrary day be the only time you can vote.”