Half of Island voters have cast ballots

Town clerks report strong early-voting and mail-in numbers.

Early voting has drawn crowds across the Island.

Voters who want to take advantage of early voting have until Friday to get to the polls. And individuals who are mailing their ballots are urged to get them in by that date, too.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, and polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm.

Town clerks across the Island report that early voting is popular and running smoothly, as an average of 50 percent of registered voters have already cast their ballots, whether in-person or by mail, across the Island’s six towns. Four towns — Tisbury, Aquinnah, West Tisbury, and Chilmark — have had the biggest turnouts yet, with 56.6 percent, 53.8 percent, 50.5 percent, and 50 percent of voters casting their ballots respectively. Though still significant, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown saw slightly lower turnouts thus far, with 45.2 percent and 44.7 percent of voters casting their ballots as of Tuesday. 

“Early voting has been going very well in Aquinnah, with over 50 percent of voter turnout so far,” Aquinnah town clerk Gabriella Camilleri wrote in an email. “Everyone seems to be very enthusiastic to cast their votes, with many voters enjoying an opportunity to sit and chat with our hard-working registrars and election workers.”

There was more variation between in-person and mail-in voting rates across towns, with in-person voting being more popular down-Island and in West Tisbury. Tisbury, West Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown saw more people vote in person, with 39 percent, 32.1 percent, 24 percent, and 22.7 percent of voters showing up at the polling stations. On the other hand, mail-in voting was more popular in the two up-Island towns of Aquinnah and Chilmark, where 33.2 percent and 32.3 percent of voters respectively used the Postal Service to make their voices heard. 

While the presidential race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joseph Biden is dominating the headlines, there are other issues on the ballot for Island voters to consider.

State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, D-Falmouth, and state Sen. Julian Cyr, D-Truro, are unopposed on the ballot, but U.S. Rep. Bill Keating, D-Bourne, faces challenges by Republican Helen Brady and Coach Team America candidate Michael Manley.

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., is facing a challenge by Republican Kevin O’Connor.

There is a three-way race for the Tisbury representative on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Incumbents Clarence (“Trip”) Barnes and Josh Goldstein face a challenge from Ben Robinson, who has been an appointed member of the MVC for the town.

Along with the two statewide ballot questions — the expanded right to repair, and ranked-choice voting — there’s a county ballot question asking voters to switch the county treasurer’s position from elected to appointed. Don’t forget to flip over your ballot to cast your vote on the questions.


Where and when you can vote early

West Tisbury, Public Safety Building: weekdays, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Oak Bluffs, Oak Bluffs library: weekdays, 8:30 am to 4 pm.

Edgartown, Town Hall: weekdays, 8 am to 4 pm.

Tisbury, Emergency Services Facility: weekdays, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Chilmark, Town Hall: weekdays, 8 am to noon (except Thursdays, 8 am to noon, and 4 to 7 pm).

Aquinnah, Town Hall: weekdays, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm.