With less than a month until the election, Secretary of State William Galvin on Monday urged voters to make a plan to vote and not to wait if they anticipate casting their ballot by mail to ensure they are counted.
Galvin said that more than 1.6 million registered voters have already requested mail-in ballots, and he predicted that number could grow as fears about a fall surge of coronavirus infections grow and as the state's daily COVID-19 case count inches upward.
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As the state's chief elections officer, Galvin said he has been working closely with local clerks to ensure that the elections run smoothly and that voters are aware of all their options to participate, including voting by mail, early in-person, or in-person on election day. Those efforts, the secretary said, have included encouraging local officials to find polling locations large enough to accommodate a high volume of foot traffic, which would help avoid asking voters to wait in long, congested lines.
"No voters should have to compromise their safety to participate in this election, and I don't believe anyone will," Galvin said.
More than 200,000 ballots have already been mailed out to voters, Galvin said, and the secretary expects all cities and towns to receive their requested ballots for mail-in voting by Monday.
The secretary's office prioritized getting ballots out to the 30 communities with the largest volume of mail-in ballot requests, topped by the town of Lexington.
Galvin is projecting a record turnout in this year's election that will eclipse the 3,375,801 ballots cast in 2016. In fact, every presidential election since 2008 has set a new record, he said.
"Do you think things are more boring now that they were in '16? I don't," Galvin said.