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Mass. Primary Race Results May Not All Be Called Tonight, Galvin Says

Secretary of State William Galvin speak during a press conference at the State House to provide information on the September 1st State Primaries and an update on early voting and voting by mail turnout. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Secretary of State William Galvin speak during a press conference at the State House to provide information on the September 1st State Primaries and an update on early voting and voting by mail turnout. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

A majority of the people planning to participate in today's primary election have already voted, though a few hundred thousand are still expected to cast their ballots in person, Secretary of State William Galvin said the day before the primary.

Galvin said that he expects a total of 1.2 million to 1.3 million votes to be cast in an "extraordinary year" marked by a public health crisis and new methods for voting in the state primary.

Many of those ballots, Galvin said, are expected to be cast through mail-in voting, access to which was expanded for this year's election in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said more than 180,000 people participated in last week's in-person early voting window, the first such period before a state primary.

Galvin projected between 250,000 and 300,000 people will cast Democratic ballots, with another 50,000 or more on the Republican side. Unenrolled voters can choose which party's ballot they wish to fill out.

Don't Bring Mail-In Ballots To The Polls

Voters can visit Galvin's website to see if their polling location has been changed, or to track the status of their mail-in ballot. If the website shows that a person's mail-in ballot has not been received by local election officials, that person may choose to vote in person on Election Day, Galvin said.

He said that voters should not bring completed mail-in ballots to a polling place today.

No ballot will be counted before 8 p.m. today, meaning winners may not be known on the night of the election.

“I can’t say with certainty that it’s not going to be slower. What I can tell you, it’s been very carefully thought through,” Galvin said. “It is my hope that the results coming tomorrow night will be completed certainly before Wednesday morning.”

Galvin said election officials have gone to "extraordinary lengths" to make sure voters can visit their polling places in-person without risking their health.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. statewide. For a mail-in ballot to be counted, the voter's local election office must receive it by 8 p.m. tonight.

This article was originally published on August 31, 2020.

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