Published June 3, 2020
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Local officials will be undertaking a number of safety precautions in order to keep voters safe during the annual Town Election on Saturday, June 13.
The Board of Selectmen recently voted to postpone the municipal election from April 14 to June 13 due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus pandemic. Town Clerk Linda Emerson said during a May 28 press conference that polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lynnfield High School.
“We want everyone to feel as safe as possible, so we are going to use precautions that have become the norm,” said Emerson. “We will have masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, social distancing, face shields and a one-way traffic flow at the polls.”
Emerson told the Villager that voters will not be sharing pens when filling out their ballots. After a voter uses a pen, she said it will be placed in a box.
“It won’t be used again,” said Emerson.
If residents feel uncomfortable about voting in person, Emerson said they can request a ballot in order to vote by mail.
“All you need to do to request a ballot is write us a note or fill out a form online,” said Emerson. “We do need a hard copy with your signature. We will mail you a ballot and you can either mail it back or put it in the drop box at Town Hall.”
In order to request an absentee ballot, voters should visit https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee/English-Absentee-Ballot-Application.pdf. If a voter wants to request a municipal election early ballot, they should visit https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/2020-Municipal-Early-Ballot-Application.pdf.
Emerson noted there are no contested races this year.
“I have been asked why do we have to hold an election if there are no contested races,” said Emerson. “The answer is because it’s a town bylaw and it’s also a state law. I have spoken with the Secretary of State’s office, and they said state law requires towns to hold annual elections every spring. Elections are held whether or not there are multiple candidates listed because voters have the right to write-in any candidate of their choice.”
Town Administrator Rob Dolan agreed.
“Under state law, we must have an election,” said Dolan.
If residents have any questions about the Town Election, Emerson said they can call the Town Clerk’s Office at 781-334-9401 or send an email to [email protected]
“We are happy to help,” she said.
Emerson also told the Villager that town clerks from around the state are waiting to see what will happen with the state primary election in September
“We need guidance from the state about how that is going to work,” said Emerson.