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Western Mass. election officials 'working feverishly to keep up' — and will stay busy after Tuesday

Voters in Amherst, Massachusetts, cast their ballots at Town Hall.
Kevin Gutting
/
Daily Hampshire Gazette / gazettenet.com
Voters in Amherst, Massachusetts, cast their ballots at Town Hall.

Polls in Massachusetts close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday but some mail-in ballots won't be counted until days later.

Michele Benjamin, city clerk for Pittsfield, said ballots her office receives by Election Day, either from early voting or in the mail, will be counted at polling places.

"All of those ballots," she said, "will be delivered to the polling locations by the police officers on Election Day."

Mail-in ballots her office receives within four days after Election Day will also be counted "here, in-office, after the deadline of the 12th," she said.

By state law, they need to have been postmarked on or before Election Day.

Most clerks will count late mail-in ballots by November 15. Local officials have until November 23 to certify the results.

'Just get out and vote'

Timothy Donnelly, the town clerk in Longmeadow, said he's been busy.

"All clerks are in their trenches working feverishly to keep up with the ballots that have been coming in," he said. "We've got thousands of early votes and absentee votes coming in."

That said, Donnelly expects to see plenty of residents casting their ballots on Election Day.

"We're hearing that a lot of them are planning on coming in," he said. "I'm expecting a lot. I'm expecting it to be all hands on deck and extremely busy."

Donnelly said those voting on Election Day may include some people who requested a mail-in ballot but then changed their mind.

"If you feel you want to vote in-person, you can vote in-person even if you have received a mail-in. You just can't use both," he laughed. "Our system will catch it."

As for what Benjamin wants voters to be aware of, she said, "Just get out and vote. Your vote counts and it's important."

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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