Update: This post has been updated to include additional information regarding polling places, as well as a corrected precinct map.
WESTFORD — Early voting is now ongoing for the upcoming Sept. 6 primary election.
The state primary will be held on Sept. 6, but voters can cast their ballots in-person or by mail ahead of time, thanks to recent legislation that codified early voting and no-excuse mail in ballots.
Legislature passes the VOTES Act
“An Act fostering voter opportunities, trust, equity and security” or VOTES Act aims to codify vote-by-mail and early voting measures passed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, which became popular among Massachusetts voters in the 2020 election.
The legislature had temporarily expanded these options through Dec. 15, 2021, with the legislature unable to agree on a final version.
The House-Senate conference committee agreed to a bill that would permanently codify mail-in and early voting, as well as shortening the voter registration deadline from 20 days to 10 days before an election.
The bill was originally signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on June 22.
Supreme Judicial Court upholds law
A lawsuit filed by Jim Lyons, chairman of the state Republican party and others sought to overturn the new regulations. The MassGOP argued that the state constitution only allows people to cast absentee ballots in certain circumstances.
The party cites Article 105 of the state constitution, which explicitly allows absentee voting for three reasons — when a voter is out of town on Election Day, has a disability or a religious based conflict.
The Supreme Judicial Court upheld the new legislation on Monday, July 11 as the state election officials began to prepare to send more than 4.7 million ballot applications to voters by July 23.
Options for voters
Vote by mail is currently ongoing. The last day to apply for a vote by mail ballot is Monday, Aug. 29.
Those looking to vote in-person ahead of the primary can do so this week. Town Hall is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for in-person coting until Friday, Sept. 2.
As of Dec. 31, 2021, the number of precincts has been consolidated down to two polling locations, Westford Academy and Stony Brook School. Voters in precinct one, precinct three, precinct four and precinct seven vote at Westford Academy, while voters at precincts two, five and six vote at Stony Brook School.
Voters who wish to vote in-person on Sept. 6 must do so at their precinct. Voters that are unsure about their precinct should contact the Town Clerk’s office at 978-692-5515 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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