By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
Lynn and Massachusetts voters had their first opportunity to vote in 2016 Presidential Election beginning on Monday, October 24, thanks to new Early Voting legislation that sought to reverse decades of diminishing voter turnouts and make voting easier and more accessible to more people.
With two days left for early voting, before voters head to the polls in earnest on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, Lynn voters seem to be doing their part to get out the early vote, as some 4,635 votes had been cast in the state and federal elections as of Wed., November 2, according to City Clerk Mary Audley’s office.
With Lynn a traditionally Democratic city and most of the state offices in the city already locked by unchallenged, incumbent Democrats, there might seem like there is little to excite voters. However, the Essex County Sherriff’s race, a hotly watched State Representative Race for the Ninth Essex District and several controversial ballot questions, Lynn voters seem to have found a reason to get to the polls early.
Despite the increased activity around the election due to the early voting option, it is still too early to tell if more voters will show up at the polls than in past Presidential Elections, as some voters have told pollsters that they would have voted anyway and are simply using the Early Voting option as a way to avoid lines on Election Day.
That said, having a local candidate on the ballot to become the next Essex County Sheriff, Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger is the Democratic candidate for the seat (see related story) along with initiative questions about legalized marijuana and charter schools (see related story), may be just compelling enough to drive voter interest.
Still, it will likely have to wait until after Election Day before we know for sure whether Early Voting impacted either voter turnout, or the results.
Early voting for ALL voters in Lynn is at Lynn City Hall, Room 107 or at the Lynn Museum. Early Voting hours for the two locations through Friday are as follows
Thursday, Nov. 3 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 3 10:00 am – 2 pm
Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. For information about which polling location you should vote at, contact the Lynn Elections Commission at City Hall at 781-586-6803 or visit the city website.