By John Lynds
According to Mayor Martin Walsh and elections officials the city’s new early voting program has exceeded expectations.
“Ensuring all Boston voters are able to vote conveniently, and on their own schedule, is paramount to ensuring a large voter turnout,” said Mayor Walsh. “Voting is core to our democracy, and I encourage Boston voters to take advantage of all the resources the City provides during this election season.”*
As of Monday afternoon, 27,000 registered Boston voters, or 6.5 percent of registered voters in the city have cast ballots in the upcoming Presidential Election according to Election Department Official Sabino Piemonte.
“It’s hard for us to compare it to anything because this is the first time we have done early voting but so far Commissioner Dion Irish is saying it’s a success,” said Piemonte. “We are compiling the data on a daily basis and with five more days to go it looks really good.”
Piemonte said the neighborhoods around City Hall–Beacon Hill, the North End and the Financial District–have had the highest turnout for early voting.
“This is due to the fact that City Hall has been open five days a week since early voting kicked off on October 24 and will have had five days of evening voting until 8 p.m. before early voting ends this Friday.”
Piemonte said early voting has also been solid in Eastie and other neighborhoods when early voting was available in the various Wards around Boston.
However, Piemonte said that anyone in the city who is a registered voter can still vote at City Hall between now and Friday, November 4.
City Hall early voting polls will be open Monday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m. There is also one more evening that the polls will be open until 8 p.m. at City Hall on Wednesday, November 2.
Piemonte added that voters may also request an early voting ballot by mail, and may return them in person at City Hall or by mail. Unlike Absentee Voting, an explanation is no longer needed to vote early. Any Boston voter who wishes to vote early may.
The Mayor added that early voting is helping to ensure residents with limited access to the polls on election day more time to vote. Walsh pointed to the number of elderly residents, young professionals, parents and students that sometimes find it hard to vote on Election Day whether it’s work, school, running around dropping their children off the various activities.
“I think you see a lot of people voting during work hours down at City Hall because it is more convenient than trying to rush home on election day,” said Walsh. “That’s were our numbers are the highest.”
For a full schedule, voters are encouraged to visit the “Vote Early Boston” web page.