BOSTON (WWLP) – By the time Tuesday’s primary rolled around, many Massachusetts voters had already casted their votes, through mail and by early voting.
Governor Baker signed the VOTES Act into law in June, which permanently expanded no-excuse mail-in voting and early voting options. It also moved the voter registration deadline from 20 to 10 days before an election.
No excuse mail-in voting became a popular option during COVID-19 and it helped produce record turnout. Although this year’s primary election most likely did not produce a record turnout, it did see a sizable number of mail-in ballots.
“I think having more options to vote, ends up helping everyone, everyone, everyone turn out and especially on a when the primary is on the day after a long weekend,” says Vanessa Snow, the Director of Policy and Organizing for MassVOTE.
Nearly 529,000 ballots were cast by mail or submitted by drop box before the polls closed this past Tuesday, and early voting saw another 48,000 ballots.
The Secretary of State predicted more than 1.1 million people would turn out for this primary, with about 850,000 ballots being cast in the Democratic primary and more than 300,000 ballots in the GOP contests. Those numbers are a large chunk of all anticipated voters.
Voters will also be able to participate in mail-in and early voting for the general election. Mail in ballots must be postmarked by November 8th to be counted.