There are two types of census questionnaires Holyoke residents may have filled out recently. The federal census and the city census. But only one of them ensures your active voter status in the city.

HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--Western Mass News is getting answers after some residents in Holyoke took to social media after being turned away at the polls in yesterday's mayoral primary election. It turns out, there may have been some confusion over what census forms they did or didn't fill out.

There are two types of census questionnaires Holyoke residents may have filled out recently. The federal census and the city census. But only one of them ensures your active voter status in the city.

“We don’t know why we had an influx of inactive voters this year. We’re thinking it could either have to do with the federal census being so close to the city census,” said Brenna Murphy McGee, Holyoke City Clerk.

Murphy McGee told us that those who filled out the federal census, but not the city census, could have been the reason many residents made the inactive voter list. The city census is the only one that ensures active voter status. But Murphy McGee told us that just because you are an inactive voter does not mean you can’t go to the polls. You can still let your voice be heard.

“If you come into your voting location, they don’t see you on the normal voting list. they’ll check the inactive voting list. If you’re on the inactive voting list, you'll be asked to show some sort of identification and you’ll be given a ballot and your ballot will be going through the machine like any other person," said Murphy McGee.

Western Mass News spotted several Facebook posts from people claiming they were turned away from their polling place in Holyoke on Tuesday due to inactive voter status, specifically ward six. McGee told us she knew of only one person turned away.

“And they weren’t found anywhere on the voting list. And that’s the regular voting list. As well as the inactive voting list. The warden did call here. We did a statewide search and they were actually registered in Springfield,” said Murphy McGee.

McGee said that anyone wanting to check their voter registration status ahead of the November election can contact her office.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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