NEWBURYPORT — Election officials have installed plastic guards and "taken great pains" to socially distance voters in preparation for today's state primary, City Clerk Richard Jones said, practices being repeated at voting places throughout Greater Newburyport.

This year, voting by mail is available to all voters for all elections and no excuse is required due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Speaking Friday about his expectations for the polls today, Sept. 1, Jones said, "I expect it will be steady but light, just as early voting has been, because it is a primary and many people have already voted by mail."

He said the city mailed out 4,597 ballots, and as of Friday, 3,125 ballots had been logged, including those from the 449 city residents who voted early in person last week.

Jones said voters can visit their usual ward polling place today with Ward 1P Plum Island residents casting ballots at the Plum Island Boathouse at 300 Northern Blvd., Ward 1 residents at the People's United Methodist Church at 64 Purchase St., Ward 2 residents at the former Brown School at 42 Milk St., Wards 3 and 4 residents at Hope Church at 11 Hale St. and Wards 5 and 6 residents at the Senior Community Center at 331 High St.

Polls across the state will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jones said the results will be counted and announced Tuesday night. 

For the U.S. Senate Democratic primary, voters may cast a ballot for incumbent Edward J. Markey or challenger Joseph Kennedy III for the U.S. Senate race.

Also on the Democratic ballot, voters may decide between incumbent Seth Moulton and challengers Angus McQuilken and Jamie Zahlaway Belsito for the U.S. House District 6 race. 

On the Republican ballot, Shiva Ayyadurai and Kevin O'Connor are running for a U.S. Senate seat, John Paul Moran is running unopposed in the Republican primary for the U.S. House District 6 seat. 

Voters may also request a Libertarian or Green-Rainbow ballot for write-in candidates.

In Amesbury, mail-in ballots should be sent to City Hall, Clerk's Office, 62 Friend Street, Amesbury, MA 01913 or dropped off in the secure dropbox on City Hall's front steps.

The Amesbury polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Amesbury High School, 5 Highland St.

In Groveland, residents may vote in person from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Town Hall, 183 Main St.

In Newbury, residents in Precinct 1 vote at the Newbury Fire Station at Firefighter's Memorial Hall, 3 Morgan Ave., and Precinct 2 voters go to the Newbury Town Library, 0 Lunt St., Byfield.

In Rowley, residents may vote in person from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Mary's Hall, behind St. Mary's Church, 202 Main St. Mail-in ballots should be sent in the postage paid/pre-addressed envelope provided or dropped off in the collection box marked Treasurer's Box, at Town Hall.

In Salisbury, ballots received by mail may be dropped off at the secured Ballot Drop Box at Town Hall, between the handicapped ramp and stairs, 5 Beach Road, no later than 8 p.m. In-person voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hilton Senior Center, 43 Lafayette Road.

In West Newbury, voters may cast ballots by mail via a drop-off box in the vestibule of the 1910 Town Office Building, 381 Main St. The vestibule is open 24/7, otherwise the town offices are presently closed to the public. Additionally, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Annex, 379 Main St.

For more information on polling places, visit www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx.

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