Hingham Journal: Well Informed Voter
Early Voting + Beginning Monday in Hingham
by Eileen McIntyre, member of LWV Hingham | October 20, 2016
The Comprehensive Election Modernization Act, passed by the Massachusetts legislature in 2014, allows registered voters here to vote early in this fall's election. You may vote as early as Monday, October 24th at Hingham Town Hall, which will expand its hours to accommodate voters during the 11 day early-voting period.
How Did Early Voting Come About?
The Massachusetts League of Women Voters is part of a coalition that has worked with the legislature over several years on reforms to increase voter engagement. The coalition also includes Common Cause Massachusetts, MassVOTE, the ACLU of Massachusetts, MASSPIRG, and others. The 2014 law, signed by then Governor Patrick, established online voter registration, early voting in biennial statewide elections, pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds, and audits of election equipment. In the two years since this law was passed, the Secretary of State's office created rules to help implement early voting across the Commonwealth, and town clerks' offices then got ready for the launch this fall.
How is Early Voting Different from Absentee Voting?
Massachusetts already offered absentee voting--for those who were going to be out of town on Election Day, or were incapacitated, or had religious beliefs that did not allow voting on a specific day. But early voting is available for all. No reason is necessary. In addition, early voting provides expanded hours--and includes one Saturday.
How Can I Vote Early in Hingham?
To vote early in Hingham, go to the Town Hall office at 210 Central Street. Town Hall will extend its hours specifically for early voting beginning on October 24th. The early voting period ends Friday November 4th. (Election Day is Tuesday November 8th.)
- On all weekdays during the week of October 24th and the week of October 31st, Town Hall will open early for voting--at 7 am.
- On Tuesday October 25th and Tuesday November 1st, Town Hall will stay open for voting until 7 pm. On all other weekdays voting at Town Hall will conclude at the normal end of business (Monday-Thursday 4:30 pm and Friday 1 pm)
- On Saturday October 29th, you also will be able to vote at Town Hall between the hours of 9 am and 1 pm.