Early Voting Begins This Weekend in Massachusetts. Here's What to Know

Secretary of State William Galvin expects early in-person voting to alleviate the crowds as people cast their ballots ahead of the November election

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Early in-person voting begins Saturday in Massachusetts, and Secretary of State William Galvin believes cities and towns are prepared.

Some are predicting that 80% of registered voters in the commonwealth will cast ballots on or before Nov. 3.

"The advantage of early in-person over election-day voting is, of course, you can do it on your own time, and there'll be less, or fewer, people, less of a crowd," Galvin said.

Galvin says those wondering where and when to vote early can go to or just stop in to their local city or town hall.

Other states that have already started early voting have had problems with crowds, with some people standing in line for up to 10 hours.

Democratic members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation said Friday that the cuts to the Postal Service threaten the election.

Is Galvin concerned about similar problems in Massachusetts?

"I'm concerned, of course," he said. "And I don't want to replicate that. I've seen the same pictures. I don't want that to happen here."

Massachusetts is not expecting those kind of long lines, in part because every qualified resident received a mail-in ballot application.

"That encouraged way more people than ever to vote by mail and decreased burdens that would occur on in-person voting," said Alex Psilakis of MassVote.

With early voting drawing crowds to polling locations across the country, NBCLX storyteller Clark Fouraker has safety tips for voters heading to the polls. Bringing your own pen and social distancing in line are just some ways you can stay safe from COVID-19 this election.

Galvin says the state has already mailed out 1.5 million ballots, with more on the way — and there are other options besides dropping it in a mailbox.

"If you have finished your vote-by-mail ballot and you don't want to put it in the mail, you can take it to an early-voting in-person site and pass it in," Galvin said.

If you want to vote early, you have until Oct. 30 — the Friday before the election.

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