Early voting to start Monday

Staff Writer
Published: 2/20/2020 10:34:01 PM
Modified: 2/20/2020 10:33:50 PM

Like Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin says in those TV commercials, early voting in Massachusetts begins Monday.

Registered voters across Massachusetts will have five days to cast ballots in the state’s presidential primary ahead of the March 3 election, known as Super Tuesday due to the high number of states and territories that hold their primaries that day. This is the third time the secretary of the commonwealth’s office has required all cities and towns to offer early voting.

Every municipality must have at least one location available for early voting during regular business hours. Voters enrolled in a political party (Democratic, Republican, Green-Rainbow or Libertarian) will be handed that party’s primary ballot; unenrolled voters will get to choose which party’s ballot they want.

Greenfield

Greenfield City Clerk Kathryn Scott said early voting is held for the public’s convenience. She explained anyone wishing to participate can visit Room 104 (the city clerk’s office) in Greenfield City Hall between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 24 to Feb. 28. She said the city will make sure each person is an active voter before the individual enters the voting booth. Once the voter is finished, the ballot is sealed in an envelope that is locked in a vault until it is processed March 3.

Scott, who has been city clerk for about a year and a half, said early voting was well attended during the November 2018 midterm elections and she expects the same next week.

Montague

Town Clerk Debra Bourbeau said early voting has previously kept Town Hall quite busy.

“It was very successful,” she said of early voting ahead of the 2016 presidential election. “So successful, that that’s all I did (those days).”

Early voting will be permitted from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. There will be no early voting on Friday, because that is a day of the week Town Hall is always closed. All votes will be placed in a ballot box.

Deerfield

Deerfield Town Clerk Barbara Hancock said early voting will be held in Deerfield Municipal Offices at 8 Conway St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Feb. 24 to 28. She said voters will check in with the town clerk as they normally would for an election.

Hancock said early voting has previously been busy for Deerfield.

Orange

Town Clerk Nancy Blackmer said early voters will visit the town clerk’s office to check in before taking their ballot down the hall to the meeting room, where voting booths will be set up. The sealed envelope will be placed in a box that will be stored in a vault until the election.

Early voting will be permitted during Town Hall’s regular business hours – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Town Hall is closed on Fridays.

Blackmer said the first whack at early voting was quite busy but the pace was slower the second time around.

“So, I have no idea what this time will bring,” she said.

Athol

Assistant Town Clerk Carol Bachelder said early voting went well in 2016 and 2018.

“We’ve had good luck with it,” she said.

Bachelder said voting will take place in Town Hall’s Memorial Hall.

Early voting will be permitted during the regular business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Town Hall is typically closed on Fridays, but it will be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 28 to accommodate early voting.

Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia permit no-excuse early voting, as of Oct. 23. Three states have all-mail voting systems, which eliminate the need for early voting.

A listing of times and locations of early voting in Franklin and Worcester counties can be found at bit.ly/32aWuse.


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