Wilmington Town Clerk Explains Why All Precincts Will Vote At Shriners Auditorium On Election Day

Below is a press release from the Wilmington Town Clerk’s Office:

WILMINGTON, MA — In light of the social distancing requirements imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting challenges of accommodating voters in customary voting locations, voters in ALL precincts who choose to vote in person on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will vote at Shriners Auditorium (99 Fordham Road) in Wilmington. The polls will be open 7am to 8pm.

Turnout for this election is expected to be high, and it is not possible to predict the nature of how voters will choose to participate (for example, in person on Election Day, in person for Early Voting, or Early Voting by Mail). The potential for a high number of voters participating in person on Election Day, coupled with the limited space of the existing polling locations and COVID makes increasing the capacity to handle more voters simultaneously critical.

The combined total area of the three usual polling locations is approximately 7,500 square feet. Taking the social distancing directive of six feet into consideration, in order to keep voters and election staff safe, this limitation would allow no more than eight voting booths in each precinct.

Shriners Auditorium contains more than 37,000 square feet, which is more than seven times the total area of the three usual locations. This extra space will allow for set up in each precinct of 16 voting booths, all properly distanced at six feet apart. The 16 booths double the capacity of voters who will be allowed to vote at one time in each precinct, thus reducing or eliminating the need for voters to stand in line. This will move voters into and out of the polling location more quickly.

If lines do form, the auditorium offers ample room for voters to queue up six feet apart, inside, in the event of inclement weather.

There is ample parking available, and convenient, handicapped accessible parking at the rear of the building. There will be multiple entrances and exits, and good ventilation to keep the air moving inside the auditorium.

Motorized scooters and wheelchairs will be available for voters who need them, and should voters have to park at a distance from the entrance, golf carts will be available to shuttle them to and from the entrances.

For voters who prefer not to vote in person on Election Day, alternatives exist. The Office of Town Clerk is offering in person Early Voting for ALL precincts at the Town Hall Auditorium, 121 Glen Road, Wilmington, daily from October 17 through October 30, 2020. The schedule is as follows:

  • Saturday – Sunday, October 17-18: 9am to 1pm
  • Monday – Wednesday, October 19-21: 9am to 4pm
  • Thursday, October 22: 9am to 6pm
  • Friday, October 23: 9am to 4pm
  • Saturday, October 24: 2pm to 6pm
  • Sunday, October 25: 9am to 1pm
  • Monday, October 26: 9am to 4pm
  • Tuesday, October 27: 9am to 6pm
  • Wednesday – Friday, October 28-30: 9am to 4pm

The second alternative is to Early Vote by Mail. Applications for a mailed ballot must be received in the Office of Town Clerk by Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 5pm. Voters may return their completed ballots by mail, or by placing them directly into the Town Hall Drop Slot, located next to the Town Hall front door at 121 Glen Road, Wilmington.

Further information is available on the Town Clerk’s page of the Town of Wilmington website at www.wilmingtonma.gov or by calling the Office of Town Clerk at 978-658-2030.

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