The most important numbers from Wellesley’s townwide and town meeting election were released last week, but now we have a fresh set of data that you might also find interesting.
During this past week’s election, total turnout was 27% of active voters in town. Of those who voted, 74% did so by mail and 26% voted in person on March 2.
Residents had the option to vote by mail, no excuses required. Prior to COVID-19, the town offered voting by mail only for absentee voters who were required to be out of town or unable to vote in person due to a disability, according to Wellesley Town Clerk KC Kato.
“Our requests tended to be between 400-1,300 ballots (highest during the presidential elections),” she says.
Here’s how the Voted by Mail (VBM) or Voted Early vs. In-Person Vote split has broken down during the pandemic:
- June 13, 2020: 91%/9%
- September 1, 2020: 77% (VBM or voted early)/23% in-person
- November 3, 2020: 85% (VBM or voted early)/15% in-person
- December 1, 2020: 91%/9%
- March 2, 2021: 74%/26%
Note: Voted By Mail and Voted Early (when required by the State) at the Council on Aging are combined as the town’s database is unable to separate those two methods.
Whether such unbalanced splits would continue in a post-pandemic state remains to be seen, if expanded mail-in voting continues.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin and some state lawmakers are looking to make expanded mail-in voting permanent in the state.