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Strong start to Early Voting at Westfield City Hall

Westfield City Clerk Karen M. Fanion. 2020 Early Voting started strong over the weekend, Fanion said. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS FILE PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Early voting for the Nov. 3 presidential election began at City Hall over the weekend with a strong turnout. CIty Clerk Karen M. Fanion said 220 residents came in person to vote on both Saturday and Sunday.

“It went very well,” Fanion said. The location to vote early in person is in the basement level, through the side door leading to the parking area, which is handicap accessible.

Hand sanitizer and check-in are inside the doors, with arrows leading to the room where the voting takes place. Fanion said their residents will vote, put the ballot in the box, and exit in the rear of the building.

Early voting in person continues this week, Monday to Friday, Oct. 19 to 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Saturday, Oct. 24, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and next week, Monday to Friday, Oct. 26 to 30, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All registered voters are welcome, and are asked to please consider wearing a mask for the protection of yourself and others. City Hall departments will remain closed to the public during the in-person early voting period.

Fanion said requests for vote-by-mail ballots have been slowing down. “There were quite a few people that requested a ballot through the mail that wanted to come in and vote in person. We just let them know that if they vote in person, that’s the ballot that will be counted. If the mail-in ballot is sent in (after you vote in person), that will be rejected because we already have on the rolls that you voted,” she said.

Alternatively, if a vote-by-mail ballot has already been accepted and marked as received, residents cannot vote in person. Fanion estimates that the City Clerk’s office has received 3,000 vote-by-mail ballots back out of 9,000 mailed out. “We think many of those will vote in person. They just wanted to have that option,” she said.

The last day to request a vote-by-mail ballot is Oct. 28. Vote-by-mail ballots that are received and filled out may be dropped off in the white drop box in the parking lot of City Hall. FIlled-out ballots should not be brought into the Early Voting location. All ballots must be deposited in the drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

Vote-by-mail ballots sent through the Post Office must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received in the Clerk’s office by Nov. 6 in order to be counted.

The last day to register to vote is Sat., Oct. 24. Fanion said there is a process for a resident to be able come in and register to vote and then participate in early voting at the same time.

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