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Court order grants extended polling hours in Barnstable – Boston News, Weather, Sports


BARNSTABLE, MASS. (WHDH) – A Suffolk Superior Court judge has granted the Town of Barnstable an order to extend its voting hours until midnight after a stuck vault delayed voting.

As 7NEWS previously reported, Barnstable polls are back open for paper ballots after ballots locked in a safe delayed primary voting Tuesday morning, causing town officials to print emergency paper ballots.

About 4,000 mail-in ballots are inside the safe, which were supposed to be sent to 13 precincts in 12 different locations for voters to fill out Tuesday morning. The ballots cannot be processed unless the safe is open.

Emergency paper ballots were printed for voters earlier Tuesday morning after a ballot issue held up primary voting.

At 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday the Town Clerk’s office in Barnstable said they were unable to open the vault that houses about 4,000 mail-in election ballots ahead of primary elections, which were set to begin at 7 a.m. The Town Clerk’s office said they are working diligently to get the safe open, calling in police, fire, DPW and locksmiths since they first discovered the problem early Tuesday morning.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin, who is also running for re-election, spoke with 7NEWS about the ballot issue in Barnstable.

“My primary goal today is making certain that every voter in Barnstable who wants to vote is able to do so. Extending polling hours was necessary to make sure voters have enough time to be notified and return to their polling places if they weren’t able to vote this morning,” Galvin said.

The emergency paper ballots that were rush printed by 11 a.m. were delivered to the 13 precincts so roughly 30,000 voters can not cast a ballot, but the ballots will need to be hand-counted at the end of the night.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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