Early voting now open at Town Hall

Abington voters can now cast their ballots at Town Hall. 

Early voting is officially underway. Poll workers will be in place in the second floor Cotter Room this week through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. to Noon. Town Hall will also be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hours will expand to 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday next week, in addition to 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. next Friday.

Voting early or by mail-in ballot is an increasingly popular option for voters.

More than 6,300 Abington voters cast early ballots in 2020 during the height of the pandemic and another 464 voted by mail, according to Town Clerk Leanne Adams. Just over 2,000 voted in person on Election Day in 2020.  She said more than 2,700 have applied for mail-in ballots for this November’s general election. 

A new digital check-in tablet is expected to help the Town Clerk’s office process and track voters faster. 

Traditionally, when Abington voters arrive at the polls, they have checked in with poll workers who would flip through paper voting lists and mark off that they had voted. These paper lists were later used to update digital voter files one voter at a time.

Town Clerk Leanne Adams stands in the Town Hall vault with sorted boxes of requests for mail in ballots.

The new tablets, known as Poll Pads, allows the town clerks office to update voter files at the end of each day as a batch and then download fresh, current voter lists at the start of the next day, Adams said. 

The tablets are not connected to the internet except when uploading and downloading voter lists to and from the state’s secure voter database. 

To check in, voters can either scan the barcode on the back of their driver’s license or search the Poll Pad using the first three letters of their first and last name. 

The file then indicates whether the voter has requested a mail in ballot, already voted, or is clear to vote in person. 

Adams said her office ordered the new digital check in system from LHS Associates last year but just received them this month. A majority of communities on the South Shore – including Hingham, Cohasset, Duxbury, Whitman and Rockland –  already use the Poll Pads, according to the company. 

Massachusetts towns currently using Poll Pads, according to the company that makes them.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. Voting will take place at the Beaver Brook Elementary School from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.