A Fenway First: Ballpark becomes voting venue amid pandemic
By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: October 17, 2020
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BOSTON — Lining up under Boston Red Sox banners, voters on Saturday gathered at a storied ballpark for another of the nation's pastimes — voting.
City officials were using the Fenway Park as an alternative to indoor venues during the pandemic, and more than 100 voters had lined up — at socially distanced intervals — before the doors opened late Saturday morning.
"This is the first time we've ever done early voting or opened up Fenway Park for any kind of voting in the city of Boston, so we're really excited to be partners with the city on this," said Red Sox spokesperson Zineb Curran.
Fenway Park was one of 10 locations across Boston where residents could cast their votes on Saturday, when early voting began in across the state and will run through Oct. 30.
The ballpark provided a unique experience compared to the other voting venues across Massachusetts.
With their 60-game season over, the players are long gone. Residents weren't allowed in stands then, nor were they allowed in the stands on Saturday. Instead, voters formed a line that began on one side of the park an and snaked toward the other side.
Voters got only a quick glimpse of the field after filling out their ballots in the concourse and exiting on Lansdowne Street.
The ballpark provided a safer voting venue during the pandemic because it's both outdoors and covered, providing protection from the elements while also providing plenty of ventilation.
Despite providing a voting venue, the Red Sox organization stuck to baseball and staying out of the politics. "We just want people to exercise their right to cast their ballot," Curran said.
Voters were encouraged to wear masks, and masks were provided to those without masks. But no one was turned away since the goal was to provide access to anyone who wanted to cast a vote.