Markey Sweeps Away Kennedy In Dems US Senate Primary; Rogers Defeats Fries For State Rep Seat

Photo: A voter using the town’s drop box to cast her ballot in Belmont, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to upend the way elections are conducted – with the greater use of mail-in ballots and dropping off votes to the town’s drop box – it took a bit longer to calculate and report the results of the 2020 state primary held on Sept. 1.

But at approximately 10 p.m., Belmont Town Clerk Ellen Cushman could announce the unofficial results for the primaries held by four political parties on Tuesday. (The ballots of residents living overseas and in the military remain to be counted to make the count official)

And despite it all, just about half of registered voters (48.6 percent or 8,741 of 17,991) cast ballots at the town’s eight precincts, via the mail box and taking advantage of a week of early voting.

In the most watched state-wide race, Belmont gave incumbent US Sen. Ed Markey a resounding victory, defeating Fifth District US Rep. Joe Kennedy III by a wide three-to-one margin in the Town of Homes, 5,948 to 2,009. Markey’s 74.8 percent of the vote was one of the largest percentage results in the state with the likes of Amherst (81 percent), Cambridge and Somerville (80 percent), Northampton (78 percent) and Arlington and Lexington (76 percent).

Markey retained his seat for another six year term winning comfortably statewide with 55.5 percent of the vote compared to Kennedy’s 44.5 percent.

In November’s general election, Markey will face Republican Kevin O’Connor who defeated Belmont resident Shiva Ayyadurai, 60 percent to 40 percent, in statewide voting. The Snake Hill Road resident did take the majority of ballots cast in his hometown, 400 to 325.

In the local reps race, incumbent Dave Rogers retained his seat on Beacon Hill as he defeated Cambridge newcomer Jennifer Fries. With 87 percent of the votes tabulated, Rogers received 6,753 (59.5 percent) of the district-wide vote compared to Fries’ 4,593 (40.5 percent). Only Cambridge’s vote have yet to be announced.

The four-term representative of the 24th Middlesex district – comprised of Belmont and precincts in Arlington and east Cambridge – Rogers took 4,379 (60.3 percent) of the votes cast in Belmont compared with 2,872 for Fries (39.5 percent).

To see the results of all the race by precinct and totals, head over the Town Clerk’s web page or click here.

Belmont Votes: 2020 In-Person State Primary Election

Photo: Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Voting in the Massachusetts State Primary will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

All voters wishing to cast their ballot on Election Day must go to their assigned voting precinct. Polling hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

All voters are requested to wear a mask when entering the polling place to keep our election workers and other voters safe. Please be alert to the changes in the flow of access for each precinct as the layouts have been changed to support proper social distance. In most cases, one-way access has been instituted. Please be patient as a limited number of voters will be permitted in the polling places at any time.

Belmont’s voting precincts:

  • Precinct One: Belmont Memorial Library, Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct Two: Belmont Town Hall, Select Board Room 455 Concord Ave.
  • Precinct Three: Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct Four: Daniel Butler School Gym, 90 White St.
  • Precinct Five: Beech Street Center, 266 Beech St.
  • Precinct Six: Belmont Fire Headquarters, 299 Trapelo Rd.
  • Precinct Seven: Burbank School Gym, 266 School St.
  • Precinct Eight: Winn Brook School Gym, 97 Waterhouse Road, Enter From Cross St.

Inactivated Voters

Voters who have been informed that their voting status has been changed to Inactive should be prepared to present identification before being permitted to vote.

If You Requested a Vote By Mail Ballot But Prefer to Vote In Person

Voters who have requested an absentee or an early vote by mail ballot should expect that the precinct will check with the Town Clerk to determine if a ballot has already been received for that voter.

Voters who Need to Return their Mailed Ballot for Counting

Any voter who would like to return a voted absentee or vote by mail ballot  to be counted, must return the ballot  to the Town Clerk by the close of polls on election night, 8 pm.  It cannot be delivered to a voting precinct.   There is a dedicated drop box for the Town Clerk at the base of the steps to Town Hall along the driveway at parking lot level.

In-Person Early Voting For State Primary Begins Saturday, Aug. 22

Photo: Early voting starts Aug. 22

In-person early voting for the Massachusetts State Primary will take place statewide from Saturday, Aug. 22 to Friday, Aug. 28., according to a press release from Ellen Cushman, Belmont’s Town Clerk.

In Belmont, all early primary voting will take place at Town Hall, Concord Avenue in Belmont Center. Only voters who are registered as Democratic, Republican, Green Rainbow or Libertarian will be able to vote.

On Election Day, Tuesday, Sept. 1, voters must go to their precincts to cast ballots that day.

Belmont’s in-person hours are:

  • Saturday, Aug. 22        10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
  • Sunday, Aug. 23           10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 24          8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 25          8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26    8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 27        8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 28             8 a.m. – NOON 

‘Vote By Mail’ Postcards Mailed To Belmont’s Registered Voters.

Photo: A sample of the ‘Vote By Mail’

Planning to vote in the State Primary Sept. 1 or the Presidential Election Nov. 3

This is certainly a different election season and different behavior will help to keep us all safe and guarantee your ballot gets counted on Election Day.  The Massachusetts Legislature voted new entitlements in the Election Laws that allow all registered voters to vote by mail, with no excuse necessary.

Every registered voter of Belmont who had not already filed an application to receive an Absentee Ballot or Early Voting Ballot by mail for the fall elections was mailed a postcard last week by the Commonwealth.  

Ellen Cushman, Belmont’s Town Clerk, encourages all Belmont voters to consider voting early by mail, instead of going to the polls on Election Day. Every voted ballot received by the deadline will be counted in the official election results.  

The postcard to “Vote by Mail” is pre-printed with the voter’s name and voter ID and is intended to make requesting a Vote by Mail ballot extraordinarily simple. The voter can choose to receive a ballot for the Presidential Election only or the State Primary only, or both.  

Voters wanting to vote in the State Primary must indicate the party ballot for us to send: Democratic, Republican, Green-Rainbow, or Libertarian. If no choice is made, no ballot can be sent. The voter must sign the card to receive a ballot.

How to Get Your Vote by Mail Card to Us

Once you’ve made your selections and signed your card, there are a few ways to get it to the Town Clerk’s office so your ballot can be mailed to you.  

  • The preferred method is to use our Town Clerk drop box located at the base of the stairs to Town Hall at parking lot level. We empty the box frequently and you will be certain of the date we received your application/postcard.  
  • You can drop the postcard at the Post Office or a US Mailbox. The card is already postage-paid and will be delivered to us once processed and sorted by the Post Office. Be aware that this can take several days.

Please consider filing your Vote by Mail postcard now; ballots are mailed out in the order that we receive the requests so the later requests squeeze the time allowed for you to receive and return your ballot to us.  

If You Didn’t Receive a Post Card but Want to Vote by Mail

Registered voters who already have valid requests to receive an absentee ballot or an early voting ballot would not receive the new postcard. Voters can confirm that they have a valid current request by visiting the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections site:

Application forms to request a Vote by Mail Ballot or an Absentee Ballot are also available on the Town Clerk pages on the Town of Belmont website: and select the link on the left of page. These applications, containing the voter’s information and signature, can be emailed to  or faxed to 617-993-2601.

In Person Early Voting dates and hours have not yet been established; stay tuned for updated bulletins.

The Town Clerk and the Board of Registrars of Voters Encourages All Belmont Voters to take advantage of Vote By Mail to keep Belmont voters and Belmont election workers safe.  If you have any questions, please email or call the Town Clerk’s office at 617-993-2603.  All voted ballots received by the Town Clerk by the deadline will be counted.

Register to Vote Now if You Aren’t Already Registered to Vote in Belmont

Voter registration, and change of party deadlines:

  • August 22 to be eligible to vote in the Sept. 1 State Primary
  • October 24 to be eligible to vote in the Nov. 3 Presidential Election

Once you’re registered to vote and remain at the same address, there is no need to register again. 

To register to vote, or change your voting address, party affiliation or name, to find out whether and where you are already registered, or where you vote, visit:

State Rep Rogers Has Challenger In Dem Primary As Fries Qualifies For Sept. Ballot

Photo: Jennifer Fries

State Rep. Dave Rogers will have his first primary challenger since being elected to the State House in 2012 as North Cambridge resident Jennifer Fries has qualified for the ballot for the 24th Middlesex in the Democratic primary currently set to take place on Sept. 1.

The district, known as the ABC District, includes the entirety of Belmont and precincts in Arlington and Cambridge.

“The 24th Middlesex has been my home for twenty years, and as I crossed the district collecting signatures in February and had conversations over the phone with voters in March and April, I heard residents express many of the same hopes and frustrations that inspired me to run for office,” Fries said in a press release dated April 30.

“The progressive values that guide my campaign are the values of so many Arlington, Belmont, and Cambridge residents, and I will fight for them as our State Rep,” said Fries, whose campaign for the 24th Middlesex is her first run for elected office.

Fries stated in her release that transit equity will be “a cornerstone of her campaign.”

“I know first-hand that our transportation crisis influences the career and caregiving choices of families across the Commonwealth, and investing in and modernizing the MBTA through new revenue streams will be one of my top priorities,” she said. She also highlights

Fries is the executive director of ACE Mentor Program Greater Boston which offers an after-school program that providing students in grades 9-12 with an introduction to the design, engineering and construction disciplines. She spent more than nine years as executive director of Cambridge School Volunteers.

She matriculated at Brown where she received a BA in Public Policy then obtained a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School at Harvard.

She’s also is a volunteer with Girl’s Scout Troop 88277 and is part of a team of parents that ran 200 miles and raised more than $15,000 annually for the Friends of the Amigos School.

“I’m grateful to every voter who signed my papers to get me on the ballot,” said Fries. “This is just the first step, and I’m looking forward to speaking with and hearing from residents across the district in the months ahead.”