Fenway Park, other locations preparing for influx of voters before early voting kicks off

BOSTON (WHDH) – From Pesky’s Pole to the presidential poll, Boston residents will be able to cast their ballots at Fenway Park and more than 20 other locations in the city when early voting kicks off on Saturday.

The historic ballpark will be open to voters Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Gate A on Jersey Street.

“Our hope was to really inspire people to vote and so we’re hoping whether you do that at Fenway Park or somewhere else,” Red Sox spokesperson Zineb Curran said. “If the location inspires you to come and vote early, we’re please with that. And that’s what we were trying to achieve.”

Voters will line up six feet apart on the Jersey Street sidewalk, then, they will be ushered through Gate A and check in on the concourse. Instead of picking up a Fenway Frank, they will grab their ballot near the concession stands and move along to the familiar voting booths set up nearby.

“It means a lot to me. I’m a season ticket holder and we didn’t get to go this year and it would be fun to get inside and at the same time cast a ballot,” Roslindale resident Mary Skahen said.

With plenty of hand sanitizer and masks, the ballpark is hoping to make the experience not only safe but memorable even offering people an opportunity to take a selfie in the stands after voting.

“It’s a pretty historic election this year and it would be fun to do it in a historic place,” Skahen said.

While going to Fenway Park may seem enticing, Secretary of State Bill Galvin said it is for voting not visiting.

The only people allowed to cast a ballot there are Boston residents.

Bottom line, Galvin said voicing your choice should take place where and when you’re ready.

“If you vote early, whether it’s by mail or in person – that’s it. You can’t come back. So if you’re undecided, this is not the place for you,” he said.

Other voting locations in Boston will run through Oct. 30, including City Hall.

Early voting sites are also operating as ballot drop-off locations. Voters who have received Vote by Mail ballots may return those ballots to any early voting location in their city or town during early voting hours.

The city has also installed 17 new ballot drop boxes for voters. A list of their locations can be found here.

Mayor Martin Walsh warned residents not to put the task of requesting a mail-in ballot off to the last minute.

“The last day to request a mail-in ballot is October 28. That’s a deadline,” he said. “My advice is do it today. Don’t wait until October 28. Get these ballots in your hands right now.”

As of Thursday, over half a million mail-in ballots had already been returned, according to the office of the secretary of state.

“I think the rising concern about the pandemic as well as concerns about crowds on election day have caused many people to use the option of voting early,” Galvin said.

A full list of Boston early voting locations and dates can be found here.

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