Western Mass. Officials Say Early Voting Getting Positive Response

Oct 26, 2018

Early voting has been underway in Massachusetts for the past week. Several local officials who oversee the process in the western part of the state said they're seeing a positive response.

Gladys Oyola-Lopez is Springfield's election commissioner. She said more than 650 people had voted early as of last night.

"We've had several sites open and people have seemed really receptive to the entire process," she said. 

Springfield is offering early voting at a rotating list of seven locations.

The town clerk of Greenfield, Kathryn Scott, said plenty of voters are also choosing to cast their ballots early there.

"We have a steady stream of early voters and they love it," she said. "It's very convenient. for them. They can come in and cast their ballot at any time that's convenient for them and they're not restricted by having to go to the polls on election day." 

Early voting is not happening in neighboring Connecticut. The state's constitution says voting can only happen on a Tuesday.

Denise Merrill is Connecticut's secretary of state. She said it's quite a process to get that changed.

"It requires a constitutional amendment, which means that two different legislatures have to pass it with more than a 50 percent majority, and then it goes on a ballot, and then everyone in the state has to vote on it," she said. A proposed change was on the ballot in 2014, but it didn't pass. 

Thirty-six states allow early voting. Other New England states that don't are New Hampshire and Rhode Island.