Voters began casting ballots in the state’s primary election at early voting locations across the state Saturday as part of a new law aimed at ensuring maximum participation in the upcoming elections while minimizing COVID-19 risks.
"I voted early because I wanted to make sure my vote got in and got counted," said Brighton resident Jim Long.
Some people were driven to the polls early by scandals involving the United States Postal Service. This comes after the USPS announced plans to get rid of hundreds of pieces of letter-sorting equipment, causing some to question the agency's ability to deliver mail-in ballots in time.
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The new law, enacted in July, created the state's first-ever early voting period before a primary election. Early voting will continue through August 28. Unlike absentee voting, registered voters do not need a reason to vote early.
Voters can find early voting locations and ballot drop boxes in their communities by going to the secretary of the commonwealth’s website.
Those registered to vote in Boston can visit any of the polling sites around the city. Boston City Hall is the main early voting location with early voting from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.
Early voting "pop-up" polling locations will be open from 12 - 8 p.m. A list of the voting locations by date can be found here.
For the first time in the state's history, all voters who wish to do so will also be able to cast a ballot via mail without needing to qualify for an absentee ballot.
Over one million Massachusetts residents have requested vote-by-mail ballots ahead of the state's Sept. 1 primary and November presidential elections.
However, some Massachusetts residents are questioning the promise USPS made to hold off on its controversial changes until after the election. These concerns will be heading to a Boston courtroom Monday.
Democratic congressional candidate Becky Grossman is suing Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin in the hopes that a judge will force him to count mail-in ballots postmarked by September 1. Right now, the state only counts ballots that arrive by the day of the primary.
Registered voters who miss the early voting deadline can still vote on Primary Day. Polling locations in Boston for the State Primary election will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1.
The City recently announced 20 precinct polling location changes this cycle. Individuals can find their polling location for Election Day on the state's website.