The ballot positions now drawn, Lynn Elections Chief Janet Rowe is immersed in full-scale preparations for the Nov. 2 final election that will decide whom will be Lynn’s next mayor, along with the elected positions on the City Council and the School Committee.
The race for mayor between City Council President Darren Cyr and School Committee member Jared Nicholson is the marquee contest on the November ballot. The two candidates will face off in an Oct. 13 breakfast forum debate sponsored by the Greater Lynn Chamber of Commerce, an event that is expected to draw a sold-out audience at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
Combined with some contested ward races and the councillor-at-large and school committee elections, a much larger turnout for the Nov. 2 final election is expected than the roughly 15 percent who voted in the preliminary election.
Rowe said with the ballot positions selected, the actual printed ballots should be in next week.
“As soon as the ballots come in, we’ll let the voters know,” said Rowe. “Anyone who requested a mail-in ballot for the preliminary election and checked off the box for both elections, we’ll automatically start sending all those ballots out to all the people that asked for them for the November election as well.”
She added that any voter who wants to vote by mail can call or email her office, and an application will be sent to them.
“We had about 1,200 ballots that we sent out for the preliminary election, and I think we’ll do a lot more than that for the final,” said Rowe.
She said her office is encouraging mail-in voters to use the drop-box in the City Hall parking lot. “The drop-box is open 24 hours a day. You can come by at midnight. It’s perfectly safe. It’s locked. There are cameras on the building. It’s very secure. That’s the best way to get the ballot back, to be sure that we have it.”
Rowe said there were 30 ballots that arrived at her office following the Sept. 14 preliminary election and those ballots were not part of the final tabulations. “It doesn’t matter when they’re postmarked. The law says if they’re not in our office by 8 p.m. on election day, we cannot take them. It isn’t determined by the postmark.”
Rowe said that the polling locations for the Nov. 2 election will be well-secured, with a strong police presence at each poll.
“A lot of people don’t know that we also have three election commissioners at every polling location, probably a half dozen times a day,” said Rowe. “They just keep going out to make sure everything’s okay, so we have it pretty well covered.”
With the election approaching, Rowe has added new information to the City Clerk Office’s election website under the “Frequently Asked Questions” category.
‘I’m hoping that this information is going to help people understand the difference between a vote-by-mail ballot, a vote-by-absentee ballot – and early voting, which we do not have,” said Rowe.