Major Interest Sparked for Mail-In Ballots Early in the Primary Election

City officials said this week they had received more than 26,500 applications from registered voters to procure a mail-in ballot for the Sept. 1 Primary Election – which faces a heated race for U.S. Senate race between Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy III and a few local races, though many state offices are unopposed in the downtown neighborhoods.

As of Tuesday, the Boston Election Department had received more than 26,500 ballot applications. That number includes all ballot requests: absentee, online/emailed requests and the new mail-in vote option. 

All registered voters have received a vote-by-mail application in their mail boxes during the week of July 20. The application is in a postcard format. To receive a ballot, voters must first complete, sign and return the prepaid postcard application to the Election Department by August 26 for the State Primary. Voters may request a ballot using the vote-by-mail application for the September 1, 2020 State Primary, November 3, 2020 State Election or all 2020 elections. Voters may also request ballots in Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese.

Voters may return their ballot by mail using the prepaid envelope, at an early voting location, or using the Election Department drop-box located on the third floor of City Hall. City Hall is currently open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

On Wednesday, the City released guidelines and preparations for the upcoming election – which will be like no other.

The Department is reminding residents that Saturday, August 22, at 8 p.m. is the last day to register to vote and Wednesday, August 26, is the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot.

Due to COVID-19, the Election Department will implement health and safety protocols during the early voting period and on Election Day. All poll workers will receive face shields, face masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer. Cleaning will take place at each site every two to three hours. Voters waiting in line will be instructed to stand 6 feet away from others and wear a face covering. 

Individuals can also decide to vote during the early voting period from Saturday, August 22 through Friday, August 28. Registered voters can vote at any of the early voting sites. No excuse is required to vote early. 

Early voting in the downtown will take place at the following places and times:

•Sat., Aug. 22, Copley Square Library McKim Building, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

•Sun., Aug. 23, Copley Square Library McKim Building, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Boston City Hall will be available for early voting too on Aug. 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 at various hours – mostly 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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