Early Voting a Hit at BPL’s Copley Branch

November 2, 2018
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This year, Boston voters can vote before Election Day comes around. A Massachusetts state law passed in 2014 requires that cities and towns hold early voting for the general election every two years. The first early voting period was in 2016. This year, early voting is taking place from Oct. 22 to Noc. 2. Anyone who is registered to vote in Boston can take advantage of early voting in the city at any of the polling locations.

The main polling place in Boston is City Hall, though there are a number of pop-up locations throughout the city to make it more convenient for people to cast their ballot. This year, the city offered a full weekend of early voting on Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 28.

The most successful polling place over the weekend was the Copley branch of the Boston Public Library, bringing in 2061 voters. Overall, there have been 20,429 early voters as of Oct. 31, according to the Election Department—and there are still two more days to go.

“The Boston Public Library worked out really good for us in 2016 for early voting and we were happy to be able to reserve the space for early voting again this year, which worked out well voters who voted there,” said Ky’ron Owens, Civic Engagement Coordinator for the Boston Election Department.

“We are thankful for our partnership with all of our Early Voting locations, some of which are our polling locations on Election Day as well,” Owens continued. “We are ecstatic to see Boston Voters engaged in the electoral process and we hope to see more engagement throughout the rest of the Early Voting period and on Election Day, Nov. 6.”

Owens added that a lot of the feedback the department has received so far has been “extremely positive.”

City Hall remains the main polling place, and will be open for voting from 9: a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, but there are a few remaining pop-up locations. On Thursday, Nov. 1, polls will be open from noon-8 p.m. at: The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center, the ABCD Thelma D. Burns Building, and The Blue Hills Collaborative.

Regular polling locations will be open for the general election on Nov. 6 for those who missed early voting.

The Sun checked in with incumbent state Senator Will Brownsberger as he prepares for another election. Brownsberger, who represents the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District, said he’s a supporter of early voting and “anything that makes it easier for people to vote.”

Though he’s running unopposed as the Democratic candidate for Senator in General Court, he said he’s still nervous about the election as a whole—“I think there’s a lot at stake,” he said.

Brownsberger said that he “feels strongly” about the ballot questions this election, particularly Question 3, as well as the local ballot questions. “I hope democrats do well all over the country,” he added.

Coming out of the election, he said he has a number of policy issues that he is focusing on, including criminal justice reform, climate change issues, and transportation improvement projects across the district. “I’m hopeful that we can make progress on the larger funding issues that we have for education and transportation,” Brownsberger said.

But for now, Brownsberger is focused on the results on Nov. 6. He said, “I’m watching with bated breath to how the elections come out.”

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