Since Election Day is coinciding with a global pandemic this year, Massachusetts has provided voters with a number of alternatives to voting in person on Tuesday, Nov. 3. If you are a registered voter in Massachusetts, you should have received a vote by mail application. Mail-in ballots may either be mailed back or placed in ballot drop boxes that are located within individual municipalities. Halifax voters can find a ballot box bolted to the front porch of the Town Hall. Plympton voters have a ballot box in the entrance of the Town House. Kingston ballots can be dropped off at the Kingston Town Hall, 26 Evergreen St., in the locked “Ballot” box or delivered to the Town Clerk.
It should be noted that ballot boxes will be closed on Oct. 31 from 5 p.m. Halloween night until 7 a.m. the following day as ordered by the Secretary of State.
Early voting is an alternative to mail-in ballots that will allow voters to circumvent crowds and lines. Early voting runs through today, Friday, Oct. 30. Both early voting and Election Day voting will be held at the Plympton Townhouse located on 5 Palmer Rd. for Plympton residents. The Plympton Townhouse will be closed for regular business on Election Day for voting and the day after for deep cleaning.
Halifax residents can cast their votes early at Town Hall while Election Day voting will take place in the gym of Halifax Elementary School.
Kingston voters can cast their votes early today, Oct. 30, from 8 a.m. until noon, the last day for early voting.
Plympton town clerk Patricia Detterman said that as of Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 27, 394 voters had elected to vote early in-person while 497 voters had submitted their ballots by mail.
Halifax town clerk Barbara Gaynor told The Express that she mailed out an excess of 1600 ballots to voters who requested them. She noted that some of those who received their ballots by mail elected, instead, to come to the Town Hall for early voting. Gaynor also said that while early, in-person voting has been somewhat steady, there have never been any lines. She estimated that on the busiest day of early voting thus far in Halifax saw about 100 voters cast their ballots.
Both Gaynor and Detterman confirmed that in Massachusetts ballots postmarked on or before November 3 will be counted as long as they are received by 5 p.m. on November 6.
Both Plympton and Halifax will have special accommodations in place to ensure a safe voting experience on Election Day. Detterman said that an EMT or Paramedic from the Plympton Fire Department will be at the door of the Town House to direct voters and check their temperatures with a forehead thermal scan. All precautions from the May local election and the September primary will also be in place. Detterman said that voters will be encouraged to bring their own pen and that the pens at the town house will be single use. Masks will be mandated as will social distancing. Voting booths and other high traffic areas will be sanitized throughout the day.
Gaynor listed similar precautions for Halifax noting that pens will not be single use but will be sanitized between voters. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the voting area and plexiglass shields will separate poll workers from voters as they check in and out.