Almost 45% Have Already Voted

Published by Chris Wangler- October 28, 2020.

Nearly 16,000 of Waltham’s 36,000 registered voters or almost 45% have already cast ballots in the November 3 election.
By the close of early voting on Friday, October 30 at 4:30 p.m., that figure should easily exceed 50%.
Waltham voters requested roughly 16,500 ballots, and more than 11,500 have already been sent in. Meanwhile, 4,500 have voted early at the former Bright School.
Waltham election officials plan to process (but not tabulate) all those early votes this weekend. That will simplify some of the counting work in the home stretch and on election day Tuesday.
Because so many will have already voted, election day in Waltham could feel like more like a mayoral or municipal election―busy but not necessarily crazy.
That was the case back in 2016, when 77% of Waltham voters went to the polls, many standing in lines.
Fast forward to 2020, a year that has seen a flurry of new interest in voting.
Since September 1, there have been more than 1,800 Waltham voter registrations. (Not all of those are brand new voters, mind you.)
Expanded voting options have required election officials to adapt on the fly.
The city clerk’s office has had a few hiccups along the way, including mail-in ballots erroneously sent to voters who didn’t request them and a dozen voided ballots ending up in a dumpster.
To ensure fairness, Waltham Police are routinely monitoring a ballot collection box behind city hall, which is also monitored by video surveillance.
But Waltham city clerk Bob Waddick said “the process has integrity” and he’s proud of the work his people have put in.
City clerk staff and 15 to 20 others have worked late and on evenings and weekends to make voting easier, boost participation and ensure accuracy.
But even after it’s over, it won’t really be over. Waltham election officials will tabulate some late-arriving ballots on Saturday, November 7.
If your mail-in ballot arrives after the election, it will be counted as long as it is postmarked by November 3.
Similarly, if you leave a mail-in ballot in the box behind city hall after 5:00 p.m. on election day, it too will eventually be counted, just not on election night.