By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
‘Vote early and often,’ used to be a popular joke voters could call to one another as they made their way to the polls on Election Day. However, with national and state voting patterns dwindling over several decades and voter enthusiasm flagging, many states passed laws to allow Early Voting in the most important national election cycle, the Presidential Election.
This year for the first time, Massachusetts voters were allowed to vote for President, and in other races, beginning last week. With the Early Voter option available to them, Everett voters have responded, as 1,600 voters headed to Everett City Hall before Tuesday, November 1 to vote in the Presidential Election and for the four state ballot questions.
Everett is one of just 100 communities statewide that took advantage of an option to use “Poll Pads” to help election workers identify registered voters and help them vote quickly.
“Everyone has been thrilled at how quickly we are able to get them their ballot to allow them to vote,” said Election Commission Executive Director Maureen DiPierro. “People have been really happy that they have not had to stand in line and every day has gotten busier and busier.”
There are no contested down ballot races in Everett, as incumbent candidates for State Representative, State Senator and Congressman are all running unopposed.
Despite the increased activity around the election due to the early voting option, it is still too early to tell if more voters will show up at the polls than in past Presidential Elections, as some voters have told pollsters that they would have voted anyway and are simply using the Early Voting option as a way to avoid lines on Election Day.
Despite the lack of down ballot races in Everett, highly controversial ballot questions, such as Question #2 about increasing the number of charter schools in the state and Question #4 to legalize recreational marijuana use could still be impacted by the Early Voting option (see related story about the four ballot questions).
However, it will likely have to wait until after Election Day before we know for sure whether Early Voting impacted either voter turnout, or the results.
Early voting for ALL voters in Everett is at Everett City Hall on the Third Floor in the George Keverian Room. Early voting schedule for Everett for the rest of this week is as follows:
Wednesday, November 2 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday, November 3 8:00 am – 7:30 pm
Friday, November 4 6:00 am – 10:00 am
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. For information about which polling location you can vote at, contact the Everett Elections Commission at City hall at 617-394-2297 or visit the city website.