Municipal clerks in Cape Ann's communities aren't expecting to announce preliminary results for Tuesday's election until at least an hour after the polls close at 8 p.m.

Gloucester's preliminary results for the 2020 national presidential election are expected to roll in between 9:30 and 10 p.m.

Rockport Assistant Town Clerk Melanie Waddell said based off this year's primary, initial tallies should be ready around 10 p.m. at the earliest.

"I don't expect them to be any later than usual," she said, "but I could be incorrect. We have already a 60 percent voter turnout (with mail-in ballots). Hopefully (in-person ballots) will be done by the end of the night and we'll be counting the write-ins."

In Manchester, just under 3,000 ballots have already been cast during early voting.

"It depends on those," said Interim Town Clerk Sharon George. "We have to put all those through and we won't be able to run the tapes until that's done. I'd say around quarter of 9."

Essex will be running all its ballots through its single new digital ballot tally machine.

"I'm hoping by like 9:30 p.m.," said Essex Town Clerk Pam Thorne, when asked when the early results will be released. "We have 53 percent already voted and I can't really estimate when we'll get everything through, but I think it would 9:30 p.m. at the latest." 

All the clerks said COVID-19 protocols will be in place at the polls and masks are required.

The ballots are two-sided; voters should make sure to fill out both sides before casting it, Gloucester City Clerk Joanne Senos said.

Also, state law says no person is allowed to wear political apparel, such as T-shirt, buttons, or hats; hold political signs; solicit votes for or against a candidate or question; or gather signatures or any petitions, within 150 feet of any polling place.

"Nothing intended to aid or defeat a candidate or ballot question is allowed within the 150-foot zone,"Senos said.

It is unlikely unofficial results for the Tuesday’s election will be tabulated by press time for Wednesday’s print editions.

Please visit gloucestertimes.com Tuesday night and Wednesday for the latest election news and results.

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.

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