PEABODY — There are three ways to vote in Peabody this election season amid the coronavirus pandemic, and City Hall has installed a ballot drop box for those who may want to return their mail-in ballots in person.
New this year, residents can vote by mail by filling out a mail-in ballot application sent out by the Secretary of State's office in July. Those who fill out and return the postcard to the city will be mailed a requested ballot, and they can choose to vote by mail in the state primary, state election or both.
Those who wish to return their mail-in ballots in person can drop them off in a ballot box outside City Hall. The box, decorated with red, white and blue decals, is adjacent to the handicapped entrance on the Chestnut Street side of the building.
"We just got this in response to the huge number of ballots we expect to get back from the mail-in balloting process this year," City Clerk Allyson Danforth said. The mail-in ballots come with a postage-paid envelope from the state, but Danforth said the ballot drop box gives voters one more option to return their ballots and stay safe. The drop-box will be emptied at least a couple of times a day, she said.
Residents can still cast their ballots in person on Election Day during the Sept. 1 primary or the Nov. 3 election. Early voting in person also remains an option. This year, early voting will take place at the Higgins Middle School from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 22 to Aug. 28.
Peabody has consolidated its polling locations due to the pandemic. A list of them can be found on the city's website at peabody-ma.gov.
— Ethan Forman