Perhaps because we are political junkies, Election Day always brings a rush of adrenaline when we go to the polling booths to vote.
It seems that the entire community is abuzz, especially at the polling places, with the candidates’ supporters holding colorful signs, the scores of our fellow residents walking to the polls, and the extra poll workers hired just for the day by election officials.
For longtime members of the community, it’s a chance to say hello to our neighbors and maybe even shake hands with one of the candidates if he or she is “working the polls.”
On the other hand, we recognize that for many of us, voting can be a bit of a hassle, especially if the weather is inclement and there is a big turnout when we go to vote, which might mean waiting in a long line to vote or parking a bit of a distance away.
However, there is a simple solution, whatever our preference, to exercise our most cherished right as an American, and that is this: Vote early.
Voting early used to be called “absentee balloting” because it implied that you would be out of town on Election Day itself.
But nowadays, early voting means just what it says — every registered voter can go any time to your city or town clerk’s office, ask for a ballot, and cast your vote.
Early voting in Massachusetts started this week. So between now and up to and including Friday, Nov. 2, every registered voter can cast a ballot during regular business hours, including those evenings when a clerk’s office is open late, as well as this Saturday, Oct. 27.
there also are additional early voting days and times. In Chelsea for example, voters can go to City Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 30, until 7 p.m., and this Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Chelsea City Hall also will be open until noon both this Friday (Oct. 26) and next Friday (Nov. 2) for early voting.
In Winthrop, Town Hall will be open for early voting until 7 p.m. on Thursdays (Oct. 25 and Nov. 1) and from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 27.
That’s a pretty big window of opportunity for every voter and we urge all of our readers to take full advantage of it.