Wellfleet Could Use Mail-In Voting For Town Meeting

WELLFLEET – Town Meeting in Wellfleet this year could incorporate mail-in voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea came to Town Administrator Dan Hoort when he saw the situation regarding primary voting in Wisconsin earlier this month, where many people had to vote in person.

“So I started to think about Town Meeting in Wellfleet, and the fact that I can’t imagine all of our residents crowding into our Wellfleet Elementary School gymnasium to vote on Town Meeting for quite some time,” Hoort said.

He said that a mail-in ballot system could be the only way to safely get votes collected in a reasonable amount of time.

Hoort said a major difference would be a lack of a debate on articles, although he wants to develop a live broadcast that would allow voters to ask questions or give comments on the matters at hand despite some limitations.

Hoort said that voting method could give residents peace of mind when it’s time to turn in their ballots.

“You don’t want people to have to make a decision about whether to be involved in the government process, or whether to stay healthy and safe,” he said.

“That isn’t a decision anybody should have to make.”

The public, according to Hoort, has not been unanimous on the subject. However, he stressed that it is important to recognize that the current times are unusual, and he argues that these different times call for different measures.

He said the implementation of mail-in votes can potentially lead to an improvement of how Town Meeting is conducted in the future, as developments that arise this year could change some aspects of the process for the better.

Hoort has reached out to Provincetown State Representative Sarah Peake and Cape & Islands State Senator Julian Cyr regarding mail-in voting.

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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