LYNNFIELD — Early voting for the State Election begins on Saturday, Oct. 22.

Gov. Charlie Baker signed the VOTES Act into law this spring, which made voting changes initiated by the COVID-19 pandemic permanent. The new law allows voters to continue casting their ballots via mail for presidential, state and municipal elections. The law also established two weeks of in-person early voting before the biennial state elections as well as one week of early voting ahead of presidential or state primaries.

Town Clerk Linda Emerson said residents will be able to vote early from Saturday, Oct. 22 through Friday, Nov. 4 in the H. Joseph Maney Meeting Room at Town Hall. She noted that the early voting hours for Saturday, Oct. 22 and Saturday, Oct. 29 will be 9 a.m.-3 p.m. She said residents will be able to vote early Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday.

“Voters can come to Town Hall and head to the Maney Room, where election workers will check people in,” said Emerson. “After people check-in, voters will be given a ballot and an envelope with a label that has a person’s name, address and precinct. After people cast their vote, they will place the ballot in the envelope, seal it, sign the envelope and put it in the election box in the Maney Room. This is not a tabulator. Ballots will be taken from the Maney Room, and will be stored in the vault. Ballots will be tallied on Election Day after the polls close.”

Emerson said residents also have the option to vote-by-mail for the State Election by requesting a ballot from the Town Clerk’s Office.

“If someone wants to vote by mail, there are several ways to request one,” said Emerson. “People can simply write a request asking us for a ballot, where they want it sent and sign it. We need the person’s signature. There is a form that people can use from the website. Residents may also electronically request the ballot on this website as well. Of course, everyone has been mailed a postcard from the state. People can complete that and drop it in the mail or bring it to Town Hall. Upon receipt of a request, we will make sure it is complete and we will mail the voter a ballot. For convenience, we have a patriotic drop box outside of Town Hall for requests and for returning ballots.”

As of Thursday, Oct. 13, Emerson said the Town Clerk’s Office received 2,397 requests for ballots.

“Those ballots have been mailed,” said Emerson. “The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.”

Emerson said early voting and voting-by-mail have been well received by residents.

“I think people like the options available,” said Emerson. “We have about 25 percent of all our registered voters requesting ballots-by-mail for this election. The 2020 Presidential Election brought in 2,289 registered voters to Town Hall for early voting. We also had 3,882 requests for vote-by-mail ballots, which were sent.”

Emerson said the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.

“It’s the same as requesting a vote-by-mail ballot,” said Emerson. “If a voter cannot make it to the polls after early voting has ended, they have until 12 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7 to vote absentee.”

Emerson said if a voter requests a ballot-by-mail and returns it, she said, “It is considered cast.”

“If a voter comes in to early vote, their ballot is considered cast,” said Emerson. “Therefore, they will not be allowed to vote on Election Day. If someone has requested a ballot to be sent to them but want to vote in-person, they are able to do that. First, we have to reject the ballot that was sent to them. There are procedures to follow with safety catches in place. After steps have been taken to cancel the first ballot, the voter will be able to vote in-person at the polls or during early voting at Town Hall.”

Emerson noted there are 9,618 registered voters in town.

“The deadline to register to vote is 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29,” said Emerson.

Emerson recalled that the VOTES Act includes a provision that has increased ballot access for members of the armed forces serving overseas and people with disabilities.

“To comply with the VOTES Act, the Secretary of State Office’s Election Division has partnered with Democracy Live to bring an accessible voting tool to voters who want to vote-by-mail, but are unable to independently mark a paper ballot because of a disability,” said Emerson. “OmniBallot, which is offered by Democracy Live, allows eligible voters, voters living with disabilities and military and overseas voters to access, mark and print their ballot from home, on their home devices and printers. In some instances, voters can submit their ballot from home through the OmniBallot portal. We will post more information about this on the town website as soon as we have more details.”

In addition to being able to vote early, vote-by-mail or by absentee, Emerson noted that the polls will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. at Lynnfield High School on Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Voters from all four precincts can cast ballots at LHS.

“The ballot is two-sided,” said Emerson. “There are four ballot questions on the back, so voters will need to mark both sides.”

Emerson said voters can call her at 781-334-9400 or send an email to if they have any questions.

“We are here to answer questions, alleviate concerns and assure the voters of the integrity of our election process,” said Emerson. “We take pride in what we do, and feel honored to serve the town of Lynnfield. Come on out and vote. We would love to see you!”

— The State House News Service contributed to this report.