By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Due to a shortage of time, the town has opted not to offer in-person early voting for the April 6 Town Election.
At the Town Council’s hybrid meeting, a discussion was held on whether to offer in-person early voting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings indoors, this limits the number of people that can exercise this option. At the last election, lines were out the back door of Town Hall as people chose to vote in this manner instead of on Election Day.
The discussion follows Gov. Charlie Baker signing H.73, which provides early voting by mail, into law on March 16. The bill extends mail-in voting and early voting options for elections held through June 2021. H.73 allows municipalities to provide residents with the option to vote early, in-person, in the upcoming local elections.
Additionally, the legislation requires local election officials to make reasonable efforts to grant accommodations for voters with disabilities who might have difficulty accessing a paper mail-in ballot and request an accommodation.
Pat Dolan of the Elections Commission said that with only a few weeks before the Town Election, there wasn’t time to make accommodations for in-person early voting.
“We couldn’t plan for it until the bill was signed,” said Dolan at the March 22 meeting. “The election is two weeks from tomorrow. I don’t feel like we should be doing early voting at this time.”
Mail-in voting will be an option for this election. Applications need to be turned in by March 30, and the mail-in ballots can be turned in up until the day of the election. The application can be found at this link.