Voting In Presidential Election Underway Now

By SCOTT JACKSON

More than 1,400 residents cast their ballots this weekend at North Quincy High School as voting in the presidential election got underway.

Early voting will continue this week and next and residents can also submit a ballot by mail ahead of Election Day on Nov. 3.

City Clerk Nicole Crispo said 812 residents voted at the high school on Saturday, the first day of early voting, and 589 did so on Sunday, for a total of 1,401.

“It was very good,” she said of the first weekend of early voting. “Social distance and all that was a priority.”

There were lines waiting outside the school each morning, Crispo said, and a steady stream of voters for the rest of the day.

The city is using two locations for early voting this year.

Residents can vote in the council chamber on the second floor of the McIntyre Government Center (Old City Hall), 1305 Hancock St., on weekdays through next Friday, Oct. 30. The polling place there will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on those days.

Early voting will once again take place at North Quincy High School, 316 Hancock St., this coming weekend, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Voters are asked to use the Hunt Street entrance to access the school’s gym, where voting will take place.

Residents can also vote by mail during this election. As of Tuesday, nearly 23,000 ballots had been mailed to voters who requested them, and 6,000 had already been returned to the election department.

Those who have requested mail-in ballots have four ways to return them. Residents can hand deliver the ballots to the early voting locations while they are open; hand deliver them to the election office on the second floor of the City Hall annex building during business hours, including until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3; drop them off in a kiosk located outside City Hall until 8 p.m. on Election Day; or mail them through the postal service.

Additional five-minute parking spaces are available in front of City Hall for voters. Residents can call the election office when they park to have an employee meet them curbside and pick up the ballot that way if they prefer; the number for the office is posted on the signs.

Ballots cast by mail need to be postmarked on or before the day of the election in order to be counted. Unlike the Sept. 1 primary, ballots received after Election Day will still be counted, provided they were postmarked by Nov. 3 and received at City Hall prior to 5 p.m. on Nov. 6.

Crispo said her office will release unofficial election results after polls close on Election Day. Final results will be available once all ballots are counted.

Mail-in ballots can be requested online at the secretary of state’s website, sec.state.ma.us. The deadline to apply is Oct. 28, but the secretary of state’s office recommends residents apply as soon as possible. Residents can also check the status of their mail-in ballot through the secretary’s website.

The deadline to register to vote is 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. The elections office will be open at City Hall until the deadline passes and residents can also register to vote in-person at North Quincy High School Saturday while the polling place is open.

Quincy voters will cast ballots in up to seven contested races.

Topping the ballot is the race for president and vice president. The race features four candidates: incumbent Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence; Democratic nominees Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; Libertarians Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen; and Green-Rainbow candidates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker.

In the race for the U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Edward Markey of Malden faces a challenge from Republican Kevin O’Connor of Dover. Markey was first elected to the Senate in a 2013 special election and won a full six-year term in 2014.

In the eighth congressional district, which includes all of Quincy, incumbent Democrat Stephen Lynch of South Boston faces a challenge from independent candidate Jonathan Lott of Stoughton. Lynch has served on Capitol Hill since winning a 2001 special election.

Two incumbent members of the state legislature who represent Quincy, both Democrats, are facing challenges this year.

Sen. John Keenan, a Hobomack Road resident, is facing a challenge from independent candidate Alexander Mendez of Shore Avenue to represent the Norfolk and Plymouth District. The district includes all of Quincy, Abington, Holbrook and Rockland as well as part of Braintree. Keenan is seeking his sixth two-year term in office. Mendez is challenging Keenan for the third straight election.

Rep. Ronald Mariano of Falls Boulevard will face Republican Stephen Tougas of Gilbert Street in the race to represent the Third Norfolk District in a rematch from 2018. The district includes all of Ward 2 in Quincy as well as Ward 4, precinct 5, and extends south to parts of Weymouth and Holbrook. Mariano was first elected to Beacon Hill in a 1991 special election and is the House majority leader.

The three other representatives who represent parts of Quincy – Bruce Ayers, Tackey Chan and Daniel Hunt, all Democrats – are unopposed. Ayers has served on Beacon Hill since 1999, Chan since 2011 and Hunt since 2014.

There are also a pair of contested Norfolk County races on the ballot in Quincy.

The race for sheriff pits incumbent Republican Jerry McDermott of Westwood against Quincy Democrat Patrick McDermott, presently the county’s register of probate. The winner of the special election will serve for two years and be eligible to run for a full six-year term in 2022. Gov. Charlie Baker appointed Jerry McDermott to the sheriff’s seat in December 2018 after the resignation of Michael Bellotti.

Three candidates are in the running for two seats on the county commission. They are incumbent Joseph Shea, a Quincy Democrat; Canton Town Moderator Richard Staiti, a Democrat; and Heather Hamilton, a Brookline selectwoman running as an independent.

Two Democrats are unopposed in their bid for county seats: Colleen Brierley of Norwood, who is running for register of probate, and Bellotti, the former sheriff from Quincy who is running for treasurer.

Democrat Christopher Iannella Jr. is running unopposed in his re-election bid for a seat on the Governor’s Council.

Residents can also vote on two ballot questions this year.

A yes vote on Question 1 would provide motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities with expanded access to wirelessly transmitted mechanical data related to their vehicles’ maintenance and repair. A no vote would make no change in the law governing access to vehicles’ wirelessly transmitted mechanical data.

A yes vote on Question 2 would create a system of ranked-choice voting in which voters would have the option to rank candidates in order of preference and votes would be counted in rounds, eliminating candidates with the lowest votes until one candidate has received a majority. A no vote would make no change in the laws governing voting and how votes are counted.