Note: This is a submitted article and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Sudbury Patch.
Early in-person and mail-in voting is underway in Sudbury and Election Day is around the corner. If you haven’t made a voting plan for how to safely cast your vote, here’s some information and tools from the League of Women Voters of Sudbury to help navigate the best voting plan for you.
Who/what are we voting for?
Your ballot will contain candidates for election for President, U.S. Senator and Representative in Congress, state legislators and other state and county offices; two statewide ballot questions; and two Sudbury debt exclusion ballot questions. Please check both sides of the ballot to make sure you don’t miss the ballot questions. See the specific information for your ballot at www.vote411.org, the League’s online voter guide.
The Sudbury League held two candidate forums for this election. Rep. Carmine Gentile and Ingrid Centurion are running for the 13 th Middlesex state representative seat. Rep. Katherine Clark and Caroline Colarusso are running for the 5 th Congressional District seat. You can view those forums on SudburyTV cable channels 8 (Comcast) and 31 (Verizon) or on your computer as video-on-demand on the SudburyTV website, www.sudburytv.org.
State Ballot Questions
Question 1 – Motor Vehicle Mechanical Data
This proposed law would require that motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities be provided with expanded access to mechanical data related to vehicle maintenance and repair.
Question 2 – Ranked-Choice Voting
This proposed law would implement a voting system known as “ranked-choice voting,” in which voters rank one or more candidates by order of preference. Ranked-choice voting would be used in primary and general elections for all Massachusetts statewide offices, state legislative offices, federal congressional offices, and certain other offices beginning in 2022. Ranked-choice voting would not be used in elections for president, county commissioner, or regional district school committee member.
State ballot information is available at www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/
Sudbury Ballot Questions
The ballot will include two Town of Sudbury ballot questions:
Question 3 — A Proposition 2 ½ Debt Exemption for acquisition of a former rail corridor from CSX Transportation, Inc., consisting of 11.26 acres from Station Rd. to the Framingham line, at an expected final bonded cost of $820,500 ($1,220,500 reduced by $400,000 in expected grant funds).
Question 4 — To exempt from Proposition 2 ½ the debt for funding the final cost of design and construction of a Fairbank Community Center including partial renovation of the pool area, which will accommodate the Senior Center, Parks and Recreation, and Sudbury Public Schools for an estimated $28,832,000.
Local ballot information is available at sudbury.ma.us/election2020.
Check your registration status
If you are uncertain whether you are registered to vote or need to register, visit www.RegisterToVoteMA.com to check your status. The voter registration deadline is Saturday, Oct. 24.
In-Person Early Voting
Early voting is underway now. Find times and locations here.
Vote by Mail
The deadline to apply for a mail ballot for this election is 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. That date leaves little time to receive and return your ballot. The Secretary of State advises requesting a mail ballot no later than Oct. 20. You can request a mail ballot online at www.MailMyBallotMA.com
Ballots need to be postmarked no later than Nov. 3 and must be received at your local election office no later than Nov. 6.
If you change your mind and decide to vote in person after receiving a mail ballot, you can do that as long as you have not returned the mail ballot.
Sudbury ballot drop boxes
You can mail your ballot or drop it in a secure drop box.
Town Clerk’s Office – 322 Concord Road: There are two drop boxes at this location. A lockbox is located inside the rear vestibule at Town Hall. Open 24-7. A drop box is also located outside at the rear of Town Hall. Available 24-7.
Goodnow Library – 21 Concord Road: Drive-thru ballot drop off. This drop box will be closed on Election Day. No ballots may be placed in this box after 5 p.m. on Nov. 2.
Once you mail your ballot or put it in a dropbox, you can track it on www.TrackMyBallotMA.com.
Vote in person on Election Day, Tuesday Nov. 3
Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Locations:
Fairbank Community Center – Precincts 1, 1A, 2, and 5, 40 Fairbank Road
Town Hall – Precincts 3 and 4, 322 Concord Road
Following COVID-19 safety guidelines will help protect you and others: wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, stay six feet from other people, and try to avoid peak voting times (usually when the polls open and when the polls close).
Keep in mind with the increase in mailed ballots, that tallying votes will take more time. Voters should not expect all election results to be called or announced on Election Day as in previous elections. A delayed result with an increased number of mailed ballots means the system is working as it should.
A surge in mailed ballots requires our election officials to adapt their ballot counting practices, and it is important for voters to be patient. An accurate ballot count is more important than a fast ballot count. We should all prepare for many election results to be announced after Election Day.
Other Election FAQs can be found at: www.lwvsudbury.org/electionfaq…
The League of Women Voters of Sudbury is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. We influence public policy through education and advocacy.
This article originally appeared on the Sudbury Patch