The city council has approved early voting prior to the September primary and for the November finale.
The council’s vote was unanimous.
City Clerk Sergio Cornelio told the council that early voting is a benefit, and that under state law you can vote in person or vote by mail, early.
“Under the new state law that was passed last June, you can opt into early voting and if you want, you can opt out of vote-by-mail,” said City Clerk Sergio Cornelio.
“The Election Commission did not request to opt out of vote-by-mail. We think that is a benefit to the public, and we did believe that some early voting in-person would be beneficial,” he added.
In the 2022 state election about 7,000 Everett residents voted by mail, according to Cornelio.
Cornelio answered several questions from councilors regarding security.
Others wanted to know when the early votes were counted.
Councilor-at-Large Stephanie Smith wanted to know if votes received early were tabulated immediately.
“You never tabulate on that day,” said Cornelio. “What the Council gave us money for is to have a fast tabulator and the all the vote-by-mail and early voting [ballots] go into an envelope processed aside. On Election Day, all of those ballots will be processed here. In the past, the ballots were delivered throughout the day to each precinct, and that’s burdening those poll workers. We figure this was a better process.”
Councilor Stephanie Martins asked about the security involved with tabulating early votes received in envelopes.
“The [envelopes] are checked in by the Election staff – Ms. Pietrantonio, Ms. Antonelli, Ms. Gibbons check in all of the ballot envelopes, and they are processed and placed in a large safe. We also have secondary boxes that we lock inside the safe,” Cornelio responded.
Several councilors, primary among them Councilor Wayne Matewsy said they were pleased with the management of the Election Department under the leadership of Elections Director Danielle Pietrantonio.
The city council ultimately gave approval to a motion to accept the reasoning and the recommendation of Pietrantonio to hold early voting for the preliminary and then for the final.
Said Matewsky: “My papers (signatures) were certified a day after I put them in. That’s the quickest I’ve ever been certified, and I appreciate that. Your office and Ms. Pietrantonio do a wonderful job.”