EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) - Voters in East Longmeadow are heading to the polls in droves, despite some additional scrutiny from the state.
East Longmeadow Town Clerk Tom Florence told 22News that he is surprised by how many people have come out to vote so far.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office is overseeing the primary election in East Longmeadow amidst voting fraud allegations there. Hundreds of people had their party affiliations changed and absentee ballots requested on their behalf, without their knowledge.
Florence said the person overseeing the election is offering advice to make the process move smoothly this year and in future elections.
"They've been very very helpful. Little things, they are experts. Little things that they advise, like 'why don't you do this?' They're just giving advice to make the whole operation move smoother," Florence said.
There is a list at the polling place of people who were affected. Florence says that when one of those voters arrives, he is called over to ensure they get the appropriate ballot.
Still, not everything is moving smoothly. Florence told 22News that the state sent some defective ballots for Precincts 1 and 2, which were not working properly in the electronic voting machines. He said that the town will have to hand-count those ballots.
22News spoke with some voters who said the fraud allegations made them want to get out and vote even more on Thursday.
Nancy Dusek-Gomez, an East Longmeadow Democrat, was among the voters that had her registration changed, and she says that she wants to be sure there is justice in this case.
"I wanted to make sure that there's a 'D' after my name, and whoever forced my name is investigated, this is fraud, this is forgery, this is serious," Dusek-Gomez said.
Jack Villamaino, candidate for state representative, has been the name at the center of the scandal, although he has not officially been named a suspect. He's running against Longmeadow Select Board Member Marie Angelides for the Republican nomination to represent the 2nd Hampden District, which covers three of the town's four precincts.
Villamaino resigned last month from his position as selectman in town. He did not pull out of the race for state representative, however, and his name is on the ballot Thursday.
All four of the town's precincts are voting at the Birchland Park Middle School.
Polls close at 8:00 Thursday night.