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Cape, Coast, & Islands to cast primary ballots Tuesday in big regional races, along with governor, AG and more

election 2020 jennette barnes
Jennette Barnes
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A file photo from the election in 2020.

Mail-in voting has been popular ahead of the state primary on Tuesday, according to local town clerks.

In Barnstable, 6 percent of eligible voters requested a mail-in ballot — most of the 7 percent who usually turn out for a state primary, said Town Clerk Ann Quirk.

“There are buckets full,” she said of the returned ballots.

Voters are choosing nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and other statewide offices, along with state legislators and county officials such as sheriff and district attorney.

Some communities also have local races driving turnout. Barnstable, for example, has open seats for Town Council in Precincts 3 and 5.

In some towns, early voting in person has been slow. But in West Tisbury, Town Clerk Tara Whiting-Wells said it’s been steady.

“The in-person early voting has … been steadier than a primary, I think, would be, without the vote-by-mail postcards reminding people that there is a primary,” she said.

Some incumbents have a primary challenger but no general election challenger, meaning the primary will determine the outcome of the race.

Those include the seats held by state Rep. Sarah Peake, Dukes County Sheriff Robert Ogden, and Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn.

Other notable primaries in the region include open seats for Barnstable County sheriff and Cape and Islands district attorney.

The 1st Barnstable House seat is also open, because Republican state Rep. Tim Whelan is running for sheriff.

On Tuesday, polls are required to open no later than 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Election officials say if voters still want to return a mail-in ballot, they should hand-deliver it to their community’s official drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

It’s too late to send it by postal mail, because it may not arrive in time, officials said.

But the mail-in process has worked well, said Kaci Fullerton, town clerk in Truro. She invited anyone with concerns to learn more.

“Please come out, volunteer, see the process for yourself,” she said. “There's so many checks and balances in this process.”

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.