Precinct 3 relocates to UMass Dartmouth
In an effort to boost student turnout, voters in precinct 3 will cast their ballots in a new (well, in this case, old) polling location during the upcoming November election.
Town Clerk Sarah Arruda announced during the Select Board’s Sept. 19 meeting that the precinct, which was previously housed at the Dartmouth Bible Church, will now be located on the UMass Dartmouth campus.
The precinct consists mostly of students at UMass Dartmouth. Last year, it was expanded to include a couple of neighborhoods that were a part of precinct 2.
Precinct 4 will remain at the church.
Arruda noted that the change has been in the works since this past May after the clerk’s office was contacted by a student at the university.
The new polling place will be located on the second floor of Marketplace North Hall, near Lot 5. All registered voters in precinct 3 will receive postcards notifying them of the change.
According to Arruda, 68 of the 450 registered voters casted their ballots during the recent primary election.
“It’s an area that’s very underrepresented,” Arruda said. “We’re hoping to help remedy some of that.”
The clerk attributed the low numbers due to most voters being on campus and unable to travel to the church to cast a ballot on election day.
“[This] gives people a better opportunity to participate,” Arruda said of the location change.
For voters coming to the university to vote in the upcoming election, Arruda said the university will provide a shuttle cart from the parking lot to the precinct.
She added that the university will also be responsible for staffing the new location on election day.
“There’s not an added cost to the town to have it there,” she said. “They’re really on board with having [a precinct] there.’
The statewide election day will be on Nov. 8. Early voting for the state election will be between Oct. 22 and Nov. 4. The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 29.