Some claim they had issues casting their votes in the first statewide election since the pandemic

Some claim they had issues casting their votes in the first statewide election since the pandemic

BOSTON — Massachusetts held it’s first statewide election since the pandemic began on Tuesday - which will also be the biggest test before November.

It looked like every other primary election day in Massachusetts until you looked a little closer at the new protocols in place for the virus.

While many voters say they didn’t notice much difference going to the polls, some say they encountered some confusion as they tried casting their votes.

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Boston 25 identified three key issues that led to some voters being confused and concerned, the first one being ballot confusion. Some voters were bringing in mail-in ballots to the polls, but those cannot be cast at polling precincts. We heard from voters who said they could discard the mail-in ballot, a poll worker would destroy it and then they could cast one in-person at the poll.

There was some concern that the mail-in ballots would lead to later results. So far, Boston 25 hasn’t heard of any reporting issues, but the Secretary of State’s office says he’s expecting record voter turnout because of the introduction of mail-in voting; he says the state could see anywhere between 1.2 to 1.3 million total votes cast.

Other voters reached out saying that, when they arrived at their polling place to vote in person, they were told they already voted when they claimed they had not. Those voters cast provisional ballots.

Another voter said she cast her vote in the mail a couple of weeks ago but it was returned to her. Taryn L’Hussier says it was returned to her in the mail last week and she didn’t think she had enough time to mail it in again.

On Tuesday, she went to her Boston polling place at the Honan-Allston Public Library to cast a vote in person, bringing with her the returned mail-in ballot. She says she wasn’t the only one in that predicament. A photo sent to us shows a stack of returned envelopes, and L’Hussier says a poll worker confirmed they were aware of the issue.

“She wasn’t surprised at all, told me to go in and someone would help me,” said L’Hussier. “I went to the correct table to check in. I said I have a mail-in ballot that was returned to me with no explanation, do I need to go in to vote and they said yes. And, they took my mail-in ballot. They opened it up and destroyed the ballot inside, and added to a pile a pretty large pike that they had.

Ultimately, L’Hussier was able to cast her vote, but she says she still doesn’t know why that ballot was sent back to her in the mail.

“I was fortunate to be home to see my ballot sitting in the mail or I wouldn’t have known and I wouldn’t have gone in person. If someone really is out of town and expected their mail-in ballot and vote to be counted, they might be out of luck this year.”

Ultimately, L’Hussier was able to cast her vote, but she says she still doesn’t know why that ballot was sent back to her in the mail.

A spokesperson for the office of the Secretary of State says L’Hussier’s ballot confusion likely stems from a postal service issue, but they don’t believe it is widespread.

In Boston, there were calls for voters who requested mail-in ballots and showed up to vote in person. Boston 25 learned poll workers had to call the election department to make sure no ballot was received for those individuals before they allowed them to vote in-person.

Some claim they had issues casting their votes in the first statewide election since the pandemic


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