BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said counting ballots cast both by mail and in person in Tuesday’s Massachusetts primary has gone smoothly. But he cautioned it could be a different story on Nov. 3 when presidential candidates are on the ballot and turnout in the state is expected to double.
“I am very concerned about November. It’s going to be a much larger turnout. We expect many more people,” Galvin said in a Wednesday morning news conference. “The burden on local officials is very great. It’s going to cost a lot more money to have enough support. I’m concerned to make sure we do that; it’s only 61 days away. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Galvin estimates that a record-setting 1.5 million people voted in the state’s primary, with over a million voting by mail. He’s expecting a voter turnout total that tops 3 million in November.
Massachusetts and many other states have turned to mail-in voting to prevent crowding at the polls amid the coronavirus pandemic. But concerns about the United States Postal Service‘s ability to process millions of ballots and President Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit vote-by-mail have created uncertainty.
“I think that the integrity of the electoral process is something that’s important to all Americans. And we’re not going to start speculating about rigging elections. The way to make sure they’re not rigged is to be transparent, to be up front,” Galvin said. “I think we’ve put a good example out yesterday.”
Galvin is urging voters who haven’t requested to vote by mail in November to apply as soon as possible. He’s recommending that applications are submitted by Oct. 20 at the latest – those received after Oct. 28 won’t be accepted.