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Wait is over in 5th day: Biden, Harris win

Town election results | Town turnout at 85.15%

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UPDATED, Nov. 7: The U.S. general election was held Tuesday, Nov. 3, and CNN has reported new president and vice president about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7.

The counting continues. The New York Times has reported that Democrat Joe Biden won in Wisconsin, and CNN projects a win in Michigan. The campaign of Republican Donald Trump has filed court challenges in a number of states. Hundreds rallied in Boston on Nov. 4, urging all votes be counted.

On Nov. 6, Biden addressed nation. CNN checks the accuracy of Trump's election-night address as well as the one Nov. 5.

Biden has won Massachusetts, and Sen. Ed Markey has won reelection. In Mass. ballot questions, right-to-repair won, and ranked choice has been defeated. In Maine, Democrat Sara Gideon has conceded to Republican Susan Collins.

With 21 precincts reporting, Arlington voted 23,024 (82.9 percent) for Biden and 4,313 (15.5 percent) for Trump, WBUR says.

Patch reports that Arlington turnout was 85 percent.  The turnout for the 2016 presidential election was 83 percent.

Arlington Patch provides helpful voting information here >>

The total unofficial count for early voting was 5,779 in-person votes, as recorded by election workers.

As of Oct. 30, WCVB reported that Arlington turnout is 64.42 percent. Of 32,969 registered voters, 21,338 had returned ballots (15,432 by mail; 5,806 in person). 

Face coverings are strongly encouraged, and masks will be provided. No campaign materials or clothing, including masks may be worn inside the polls.

You can check your precinct and polling location before you leave home.

For precincts 7, 8, 10 voting at Town Hall: Because of construction, enter through the parking lot door on Academy Street. There is limited parking in the lot, so we ask those who can, please park and walk from nearby. Any voter who asks for an accommodation will be able to leave the building the same way they came in (Academy Street). Poll workers have been briefed on this issue, and are happy to help.

Vote by mail: Ballots will be accepted in drop boxes until 8 p.m. on Nov 3. For more details on returning ballots by mail, visit the town web site >>

Look up your registration status >>

Town police have stepped up checks on ballot drop boxes following a fire in a drop box last weekend in Boston, Patch has reported.

Verify that you are registered to vote or look to see if your application to vote by mail has been received using convenient online tools offered by the state Election Commission

The Town Hall drop box for ballots has been moved just outside the plaza so it will remain accessible during construction. The drop box is near the MBTA bus stop, just west of the Town Hall crosswalk. The drop boxes near the Fox Branch and ACMi studios are in their previous locations. View more information on vote by mail >>

The clerk's office recommends using the downloadable form here >> and not the online options through the state, which can create errors transferring data. Print the form below, complete and sign, then return to the clerk's office by mailing or emailing a scan or photo. There is a detailed explanation of the registration process on the state website.

Download a voter registration form from the town website >>

Track My Ballot will show "Pending" for the status if you are on the mailing list to get a ballot. Note that you have to use your legal name and that it doesn’t accept middle names so you may need to try variations if you have a two-part first name. Apartment or unit numbers will show up in the database but shouldn’t be used to search. 

Town election page >>

State Elections Division site >>

Want some election relief? Click here >>

Primary-election results: Markey, Rogers win; 55.6% turnout

The state primary election Tuesday, Sept. 1, included these local results:

24th Middlsex State Rep.: Incumbent David Rogers (6,573 votes, about 60%) defeated Jennifer Fries (4,593 votes, about 40%);

U.S. Senate (Democrat): Incumbent Edward Markey (665,790 votes, about 55.5%) defeated Joseph Kennedy III (533,691 votes, about 44.5%);

Arlington votes cast for Democratic Party nominees for U.S. Senate: Markey: 12,885 votes (about 77%), and Kennedy: 3,909 votes (about 23%).

See Paul Schlichtman's map showing local turnout in Arlington and Belmont precincts >>

See town-by-town updates from WBUR >>

 The Arlington clerk's office provided this frequently asked questions about the Sept. 1 state primary.

Ballots for the primary are in the mail, and some voters were sent incorrect ballots before the problem was corrected. Each ballot lists the precinct numbers in the top right, so check your ballot when you receive it in the mail. Compare the precinct number in the upper right corner of the mailing labels to the precincts listed on the ballot.

If you received an incorrect ballot or are unsure about a ballot you have returned, contact the clerk's office at 781-316-3070 or by emailing emailing jbrazile at The clerk’s office worked Saturday, Aug. 15, until noon.

Some details will change for the Nov. 3 general election, and this FAQ will be updated in September.

Primary reminders

  • Last day to register to vote is Aug. 22;
  • Submit your application for a ballot by Aug. 26; and
  • Return ballots by 8 p.m. on Sept. 1.

What is a primary?

A primary allows voters to choose the person from each party who will be on the ballot for the general election. There may not be multiple candidates for every race and party. If you are registered in a party, you can only receive that ballot.

If you are unenrolled (sometimes referred to as an independent voter), then you choose which party’s primary to vote in. Voting in a primary does not change your registration from unenrolled to that party.

If an unenrolled voter does not select a party on the application, the clerk's office cannot send a ballot. We will keep the application and send a ballot in November if that box was checked.

If there is a phone number on the application, we can try to call to confirm the party.

If a voter did not indicate that he or she wanted a ballot in November, the state will mail a follow-up postcard to be sure that everyone has the opportunity to vote. You do not have to return the postcard if you don’t want to vote by mail.

What is the difference between Vote by Mail and Absentee Voting?

If you regularly vote absentee because of your health or you spend part of the year out of Arlington, you should continue to do that. If you filled out the absentee-ballot application, a 2020 Vote by Mail application or the postcard from the state, the clerk's office will mail you a ballot in August.

If you would like more information about absentee voting, the state webpage has more details

The state created Early Voting by Mail for elections this year so that’s why we have two different forms: Absentee voters will keep using the same system. The basic steps and the ballots are the same. The Vote by Mail application is simpler, so most people use that if they want to vote by mail.

What are the rules for voting by mail?

The most important rule is that you must sign all forms and the envelope that you put your ballot in to return it. You do not need any excuse for voting by mail for the rest of this year.

Traditional absentee voting requires you to meet the criteria, but that does not apply to this election.

Can I find out if my application has been received?

If you use the secretary of state’s website tool Track My Ballot, you will see Pending status if we have entered your application. We are entering hundreds every day, but it may be a few more days until we have finished processing all the applications.

When will I get my ballot in the mail?

Ballots were mailed starting Friday, Aug. 6. It may take several days to get all the ballots mailed, so please give our office and the post office some time to get them to you.

How do I Vote by Mail?

When the large envelope arrives it will contain a white envelope addressed to the Town Clerk, your ballot, a smaller envelope to hold the completed ballot, and instructions for how to vote. This is a simple checklist:

1. Complete your ballot
2. Place ballot in the smaller ballot envelope
3. Sign and print your name (there is no excuse needed)
4. Provide the home address where you are registered (even if you got the ballot at a different address)
5. Put the ballot envelope in the return envelope
6. Deposit in the U.S. Mail (postage is paid) or in a ballot drop box How do I return my ballot?

You can mail it to the clerk’s office (postage is paid) or use one of the three secure ballot return boxes. Before you put a ballot in a box, please be sure it is clearly marked for ballots.

• East Arlington - Outside the Fox Branch Library, 175 Mass. Ave.
• Arlington Center - In front of Town Hall (on the lower plaza)
• Arlington Heights - Outside ACMI Studios (85 Park Avenue)

Can I check to see if you have mailed my ballot?

After the clerk's office starts mailing the ballots, you will also be able to see the date that we mail the ballot to you and then the date we receive your completed ballot using the Secretary of State’s website tool Track My Ballot. Please give the post office a few days before calling our office.

Do you really need all the envelopes?

Yes. They all have a purpose in a complicated system of tracking and sorting the ballots.

What is the deadline to return my ballot?

For the Sept. 1 state primary, you must return your ballot by the close of polls on Election Day. A postmark is NOT sufficient.

A drop box will be more reliable after Aug. 25. If possible, put your ballot in a secure drop box early on Election Day so we have time to sort them. Ballots collected at 8 p.m. must be carried to eight polling locations, and the election workers must sit and wait for them.

What is Early Voting?

Early voting is mandated for state elections and allows you to come in person to Town Hall for several days leading up to the election and complete a ballot and seal it in an envelope just as if you were voting by mail. The hours are on the election calendar, but the dates are Aug. 22 to Aug. 28 for the state primary.

Details for the November general election will be announced in October.

When are ballots counted?

Ballots received by the clerk -- through the mail, collected from ballot drop boxes or during early voting -- are sorted by precinct, logged as received so voters can check the status of their ballot (Track My Ballot online) and then stored until Election Day. Ballots sealed in envelopes are opened on Election Day by the poll workers and fed into the voting machines. No ballots are counted in advance.

The Early Vote by Mail law allows clerks the option of running ballots through the voting machines before Election Day, but we will not be doing that for the Sept. 1 primary and will explore whether we can manage that for the November election.

Can I vote at the polls on Election Day?

Yes. We have eight polling locations open on Election Day.

There will be regular sanitizing during the day, plastic shields between voters and election workers, and we will provide you with a mask if you would like. It is much safer when everyone covers their nose and mouth, and we ask you to understand that some people cannot wear a mask or face covering and wear one if you can to protect them at the polls.

Who are the candidates?

If you want to know who will be on your ballot, you need to know your precinct number.

Property Search: Enter your address to find your polling location, street sweeping schedule, Trash/Recycling route and more.

Races on the ballot for the state primary

Senator in Congress (U.S. Senate, statewide)

Representative in Congress (U.S. House, Fifth District)

Councilor (Governor’s Council, Third District)

Senator in General Court (State Senator, Fourth Middlesex)

Register of Probate (Middlesex County – manages Probate & Family Court)

This race depends on your precinct:

Representative in General Court (State Representative, 23rd or 24th Middlesex)

Precincts 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13 – 21 are 23rd Middlesex

Precincts 2, 4, 8, 10, 12 are 24th Middlesex

The state elections website shows the candidates by party. Click here >>

This news announcement was published Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. It was updated Nov. 7.

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