New Bedford voters can cast ballots ahead of Election Day

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Massachusetts voters who don’t want to wait until Nov. 8 to cast their ballots can start voting next week, and for the first time ever – New Bedford residents can take part in the process.

Starting on Monday, those wishing to submit their votes early can do so by mail or at New Bedford City Hall.

The early voting law was signed into law by former Gov. Deval Patrick in 2014, according to New Bedford Election Commissioner Maria Tomasia.

“It’s very significant because, as you know, we all live busy lives, and especially working parents with their children and after-school activities,” Tomasia said.

Voting will also take place at the Wilks Branch Library on Oct. 27 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. and at the Howland Green Library on Nov. 3 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For the full schedule, visit the city of New Bedford’s website.

To vote early by mail, fill out an application and mail it to the New Bedford Elections Office.

Tomasia said she’s expecting a high turnout from the city’s more than 57,000 registered voters on Election Day. She believes early voting will help, but it also has her feeling a little uneasy because of the uncertainty of the additional workload.

“This is new,” she said. “It’s a whole new theory we’re testing out to see how it’s going to work.”

For the time being, early voting will take place every two years for statewide elections.