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Early in-person voting kicks off Saturday for Sept. 1 primary

By Stephen Peterson speterson@thesunchronicle.com


Residents who want to vote in-person but don’t want to wait until the Sept. 1 state primary can begin early voting in area communities starting Saturday.


The in-person early voting will continue until Friday in most communities.


The option has been used in recent years for state and general elections, but this marks the first time early voting has been available for a state primary in Massachusetts.

And it's expected to be more popular with the ongoing virus pandemic.


Thousands of area residents, however, are requesting mail-in ballots out of convenience and safety concerns over going to public polls. The deadline to request such a ballot is Wednesday, Aug. 26.


“It will be interesting to see how many people show up for (early voting) or just do the early voting by mail,” Seekonk Town Clerk Florice Craig said.


Besides area election officials, advocacy groups are promoting early voting by mail and in person.


“To minimize crowding on election day, we strongly encourage those that have not voted by mail to vote early. By voting early, you not only dodge the lines, but limit any potential spread of COVID-19,” MassVOTE says.


Saturday is also the last day to register to vote or change parties for the Sept. 1 primary.

All cities and towns in Massachusetts are required to offer in-person voter registration from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Visit municipal websites or contact town clerk/elections offices for more information.


Area residents can also register to vote online at registertovotema.com, and can also register to vote or check their voter registration status at the mass.gov website.



Here’s a roundup of early voting times and locations in area communities:


ATTLEBORO: Thacher School, 160 James St. Saturday hours are 2 to 8 p.m. and Sunday hours are noon to 5 p.m. Times for next week are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


NORTH ATTLEBORO: Town hall, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Early voting continues Monday through Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. There will be a limit of how many people are allowed in, the election commission office says.


FOXBORO: Town hall, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon; Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


NORTON: Norton Middle School, 215 West Main St., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon; Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


MANSFIELD: Town Hall, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Monday and Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.


PLAINVILLE: Town hall meeting room, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


WRENTHAM: Town hall, second floor conference room. Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to noon; Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Only four voters will be allowed in the conference room at a time.


NORFOLK: Town hall, Saturday, 2 to 8 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday, 6 to 10 a.m.


REHOBOTH: Selectmen meeting room, town hall. Use the handicapped entrance in rear of building. Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.


SEEKONK: Selectmen’s meeting room in town hall. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Monday and Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon.


This story originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle. Check it out here!





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