UPDATE: Barnstable Ballot Vault Opened After Voting Extension

UPDATED: 6:05 a.m. September 7, 2022

A video of the Barnstable ballot vault being opened can be found below:

Previous updates to this story can also be found below.


3 p.m. September 6, 2022

BARNSTABLE – Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin has obtained a court order that will require the Town of Barnstable to keep polls open until midnight tonight following vault issues leading to election day delays this morning. 

The following is the full statement from the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office:

Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin has obtained an order from a Suffolk Superior Court judge requiring the Town of Barnstable to keep polling places open until midnight tonight.

Galvin filed a complaint with the court after a mechanical issue with the town clerk’s vault caused the clerk to be unable to access ballots and delayed the delivery of ballots to polling locations.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division ordered the town clerk this morning to print emergency paper ballots and deliver them to polling locations, so that voters would have the opportunity to vote while the town continued to attempt to access the clerk’s vault.

Voting in Barnstable has been underway for several hours, but state law typically requires polls in Massachusetts to close at 8 p.m. A court order was needed to extend polling hours beyond those set by state law.

“My primary goal today is making certain that every voter in Barnstable who wants to vote is able to do so. Extending polling hours was necessary to make sure voters have enough time to be notified and return to their polling places if they weren’t able to vote this morning,” Galvin said.


The following is an update from the Town of Barnstable’s Facebook page:

UPDATE 11:11 a.m.: POLLS ARE OPEN that have received printed ballots. PLEASE be kind and pack a little patience as our election volunteers get polling stations underway. We will have an additional update on extended voting time through Secretary Galvin’s office.

UPDATE 10:44 a.m. from MA Secretary of State:
Polling places around Barnstable have received or will soon be receiving printed paper ballots.

Secretary Galvin is seeking a court order to extend polling hours in Barnstable to make sure everyone gets a chance to vote today.


Election precincts in Barnstable were not available for voting early Tuesday morning, as the Town Clerk’s office was unable to open the vault that holds the ballots.

While precincts are open across the town, Barnstable voters have been unable to cast any ballots as of the time of publication.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin has been contacted. His office stated that while the vault issue is being addressed with local firefighters on site, emergency paper ballots that will have to be hand-counted later in the night are being printed.

Polls were scheduled to close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, but this situation could prompt the state to extend voting hours in Barnstable past that time.

Any further information on the matter will be reflected in updated versions of this article.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the CapeCod.com NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.

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