Early voting begins in Springfield, other western Massachusetts communities
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Early voting for the Nov. 7 municipal election in Springfield began today.
Gladys Oyola-Lopez, the city's clerk and election commissioner, said early voting has become an increasingly "go-to option" for voters since it was first implemented for the state's presidential primary in 2020.
"We had early voting right at the height of COVID. Vote-by-mail was done at that time and those two, the vote-by-mail and early voting have become a pretty popular method voting before election day," she said.
Oyola-Lopez said voter turnout has increased as well, although nowhere close to the average 30% to 40% turnout during presidential elections.
"Typically, we would get probably like a 12% turnout in a local election. I think it's going to be higher than that.. I would say 15% to 17%," she said.
The early voting period at Springfield City Hall will end Friday Nov. 3. Absentee or vote-by-mail ballots will be accepted - either inside city hall or outside in the monitored election box - until election night Nov. 7.
Other communities offering early in-person voting include Chicopee, Westfield and North Adams. There will be mayoral elections in all of those communities as well as Greenfield, Pittsfield and Agawam.