State Offering Incentive For Weekend Early Voting

galvinHYANNIS – With heavy turnout expected for the upcoming Presidential election, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin recently announced a municipal grant program aimed at encouraging cities and towns to have early voting hours on the last weekend in October.

“The idea is that it will give a longer period of time for people to vote,” Galvin said. “We’re anticipating obviously some very large turnouts and big lines come November, so this will be an opportunity to avoid some of that.”

Under the program, town with fewer than 5,000 voters can get $250 to be open at least three weekend hours.

The funds are geared to helping municipalities underwrite some of the costs, and the amounts available depend on the number of registered voters in the city of town.

Municipalities that have between 5,000 and 10,000 voters can get $500 to be open at least four weekend hours, with a $50 bonus for each additional two-hour increment they stay open.

Cities with 10,000 and 20,000 voters can get $1,000 to be open for four weekend hours, with a $100 bonus for each additional two-hour increment they stay open.

Municipalities with more than 20,000 voters, $1,500 would be available to be open for at least four hours, with a $250 bonus for each additional two hours they stay open.

“We think that by encouraging local election officials to consider this and providing the resources to do it, we’ll enhance the early voting opportunity for all our voters,” Galvin said.

This is the first election that Massachusetts is offering the option for early voting.

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