Are you signed up and ready to vote on Nov. 6?
The voter registration deadline is Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. in the City Clerk's office at City Hall. If you recently registered and/or let the clerk's office know you're still an active Peabody voter by filling out the annual city census, you're all set.
But those who didn't fill out the census or other reminder notices to return to the clerk's office will have to clear a hurdle or two before being allowed to vote when they show up at the polls next month.
City Clerk Tim Spanos said on Monday there are 2,565 people on an "inactive voter list." Those individuals are on the list because they haven't corresponded with Spanos' office since the last election to confirm they still live in Peabody.
Spanos said poll workers on Election Day will have a separate list of "inactive voters" and require any of those people to show proof of identification and/or residency before receiving a ballot. Such proof can be a driver's license or current utility bill, credit card statement, etc.
Spanos says, however, that anyone on the list can remedy the situation by calling or stopping by the office by Wednesday's deadline. "Anything after October 17, we would make a determination regarding their status," he said.
The number in the clerk's office 978-538-5756.
Lots of new voters
In related news, Spanos also says new voter registrations keep flowing in.
As of last week, there were 884 voters added to the rolls since the Aug. 17 registration deadline for the state primary. Spanos notes that's above and beyond the 200 or so new voters in a non-presidential election year.
The breakdown was 481 unenrolled or independents, 324 Democrats and 79 Republicans.
While you may find those numbers surprising, it's a fairly accurate reflection of the total voter makeup in Peabody. As of Aug. 17, there were 34,840 voters and 20,014 identified themselves as unenrolled while 11,520 were Democrats and 3,161 were Republicans.
Spanos says independent or unenrolled voters have historically been in the majority of registered voters in Peabody as far as he knows, and that goes back more than 30 years.
Peabody's 'oldest' voting bloc rarin' to hit the polls
Loretta Tenaglia, a resident and elections officer at Brooksby Village, said for the past 12 or 13 years, turnout has been right around 98 percent with or without a presidential race on the ballot.
Given the tight races in Massachusetts for U.S. Senate and Congress as well as for President, she just might see 100 percent on Election Day.
The retirement complex has now grown to 1,750 residents and 1,528 of them are registered to vote Nov. 6. Brooksby, in fact, has its own precinct in Ward 4.
"We're the generation that votes," Tenaglia said, matter-of-factly. And even those residents who are unable to make it down to the catering hall in the McIntosh Clubhouse make sure to get absentee ballots.
"I don't think I'll have less than a 98 percent turnout," Tenaglia said Monday, laughing. She also has six dedicated volunteer poll workers from among the residents.
That independent streak on voter makeup applies at Brooksby as well. Tenaglia said more than half of Brooksby voters now identify themselves as Independents.