Early voting begins Saturday in Southampton for town election, state primaries

  • Southampton Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/19/2020 6:15:28 PM
Modified: 8/19/2020 6:15:18 PM

SOUTHAMPTON — Early voting for the Sept. 1 town election and state primaries will begin Saturday in Southampton.

Residents who want to vote in-person early can do so at Town Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday. Early voting is also available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. next week.

Saturday also marks the last day that voters can register to vote and be eligible to vote in either election. That’s also the deadline to change one’s political party to be able to vote in that party’s Sept. 1 primary, which is done through the same channels as registration.

“People can register online,” Town Clerk Luci Dalton noted. In-person registration will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Town Hall on Thursday, and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, also at Town Hall. Voting on Sept. 1 will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Safety measures put into place because of the pandemic include asking that voters wear masks and sanitizing voting booths after each use.

In the town election, there is only one race being contested, in which Timothy Gaudet and Kaitlyn Swistak-Rooks are running for a three-year term on the Board of Health. All other positions on the ballot are uncontested.

The primaries, meanwhile, feature a closely watched battle for the Democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional District between incumbent U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, as well as a contest between incumbent U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and challenger U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III.

Voters can also vote by mail, and Dalton says she has received more than 1,200 requests for mail-in ballots. The deadline to request mail-in ballots is Aug. 26.

“We are sending out two ballots. One for the local and one for the state,” said Dalton, noting that this has caused confusion for some residents.

Voters can either mail their mail-in ballots or drop them off at the dropbox outside of Town Hall that reads Town Clerk Ballot Box at any tim, or deliver them to the town clerk during business hours. Ballots must be received or postmarked by Sept. 1 to be counted.

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