BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said election officials have already received more than 850,000 ballots ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Galvin said measures that were put in place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic have been “successful.”
As of Tuesday morning, 768,000 Democratic ballots have been received and more than 88,000 Republican ballots have been cast. About 400,000 more ballots were mailed out to voters, and Galvin expects a “significant number” will be returned by Tuesday to be counted.
Galvin said Massachusetts primaries typically result in one million votes. This year, he anticipates 1.2-1.3 million.
“I think it’s fair to say, based on the numbers I just revealed to you, that the majority of the people who would be participating in tomorrow’s election in fact have voted,” said Galvin, who thanked election workers for their work in challenging circumstances.
“The process that we’ve engaged at this time, while we can already say it’s been successful given the number of ballots we have, nevertheless it’s been very straining on local election officials.”
Every ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Polling locations will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. statewide as usual, with safety precautions in place due to coronavirus.
Even though early votes have been received, no ballot will be counted before 8 p.m. on Tuesday. As a result, winners may not be known until Wednesday.
“I can’t say with certainty it’s not going to be slower. What I can tell it is it’s been very carefully thought through,” said Galvin. “It is my hope that the results coming tomorrow night will be completed certainly before Wednesday morning.”
Anyone who asked for a mail-in ballot and does not wish to use it may still vote in person if they bring the ballot to poll officials.
Voters cannot, however, fill in their ballot and bring it to the poll. Anyone who has already filled out their mail-in ballot but did not send it can bring it to a drop box on Monday.
Residents can track the status of their mail-in ballot on the state’s website. If the website shows the ballot has not yet been received, residents can vote in person.
Galvin said there will be some tweaks that need to be made by the general election in November.
“The big picture here, keep your eye on the prize, is November 3 when I’m anticipating well over 3 million people will try to vote,” said Galvin. “That’s what we have to get ready for. I’m hopefully these little issues will be resolved.”