Local election officials welcome the financial boost they are getting to help pay for early voting prior to the presidential election in November. Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin announced Wednesday his office is offering grants ranging from $250 to $1,500, depending on the electorate size of the municipality to help defray the cost of having weekend voting hours at the end of October. The 11-day early voting period includes one weekend, Oct. 29 and 30 which is optional, but several Berkshire city/town clerks plan to let registered voters cast ballots at least one of those days. “I think the grant will incentivize clerks to have voting on Saturday and I know it means I will be open [that] Saturday,” said Lenox Town Clerk Kerry Sullivan. “We are considering Saturday,” note Pittsfield City Clerk Jody Phillips. “Obviously we will be open during normal business hours.”
Every city and town will be required to offer early voting in at least one location during business hours from Oct. 24 to Nov. 4. State regulations give communities discretion as to whether they choose to offer early voting in evenings or on weekends. The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Since early voting is for the general election — not the state primary — most local clerks are waiting until after Sept. 8 to finalize early voting plans and locations.
This fall’s general election will mark the first time Massachusetts voters are able to cast their ballots before Election Day, after an elections law reform package passed in 2014 authorized an early voting period.
Full Article: State to help pay for early voting – Berkshire Eagle Online.