VOTING BY MAIL FOR FALL 2020 ELECTIONS DUE TO COVID 19
Election laws are changing to allow all voters to apply to vote by mail for Fall 2020. Updated regulations and applications will be post here as soon as they are available. All registered voters will have an application mailed to them around July 15th
Under the Massachusetts Constitution, absentee ballots are available for all elections to voters who are disabled, out of town on Election Day, or have a religious belief preventing them from voting at their polling place.
A new law has been passed clarifying that any person taking precaution related to COVID-19 in response to a declared state of emergency or from guidance from a medical professional, local or state health official, or any civil authority shall be deemed to be unable by reason of physical disability to cast their vote in person at a polling location.
It is the opinion of this office that you qualify for an absentee ballot due to physical disability if:
You are ill;
You are confined to your home because you may transmit infection; or
You cannot leave your home because you are a member of a population vulnerable to illness;
You are staying in your home or avoiding your polling place as a precautionary measure in response to COVID-19.
Early voting by mail is similar to absentee voting, but unlike absentee voting, no excuse is required.
Applications for absentee ballots are available to be downloaded and printed, but you may also request an absentee ballot by writing a letter to your clerk's office, if you do not have access to a printer. Be sure to include your name and address, the election(s) for which you are requesting a ballot, and your signature. If you need the ballot mailed somewhere other than your home, be sure to provide that address.
Early ballot applications for upcoming elections will be available shortly. As with absentee ballot applications, any written request is acceptable. Early Ballot applications must be submitted for each election, unlike Absentee Ballot Applications where you can submit for all year.
Completed absentee and early ballot applications must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications may be mailed, hand-delivered, faxed, or emailed. If you are emailing your application, you must be able to send an image of the application as an attachment, either by scanning it or by taking a picture of it. A hand-written signature must be visible.
All mail-in ballots must be back at your city or town hall by the close of polls on the day of the election – a postmark is not sufficient. Absentee ballots may be mailed or hand-delivered by a family member. Please be sure to allow enough time for the mailing of your application and your ballot. Early Ballots must be hand delivered by voter or mailed.
ABSENTEE/EARLY VOTING FAQ:
Please apply early to allow ample mailing time - the process will take more than one week to accomplish:
• Receive your application - please send a scanned signed copy or picture of your note to: email@example.com
• Receive your ballot via mail - please note postal services may take at least a week for delivery
• Return your ballot - Ballots must be returned to the Town Offices (not polling locations) by the close of polls on election day to be counted. Remember that the Post office has a 3-4 day delivery time.
You may have an absentee ballot MAILED to you or you may VOTE AT the TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE DURING COVID you will need to call the office. You may not pick up an absentee ballot.
Voters who qualify to vote absentee may use one Absentee Voter Applications:
• Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application
• Absentee Ballot Application - Living Outside of the US and Uniformed Service Members
Selection of Ballot Types: In primary elections, a voter who is not registered in a political party must specify the ballot of the party of choice in the application. You will not become registered in a party because of your participation in a primary. Voters who are registered in a particular party MUST take that party ballot after the deadline to change a party or registered to vote has passed.
If I vote early can I also vote at the polls on Election Day?
No. Your ballot will be considered cast and you will not be eligible to vote by mail, in person or at the polls on Election Day.
When & how are early voter's ballot cast?
Similar to Absentee ballots, Early Voting ballots are sealed by the voter in an envelope and held until Election Day. On Election Day early voting ballots are opened and scanned into the voter tabulation equipment, in the same manner as absentee ballots at the appropriate precinct
Voting in Person at the Polls after submitting an early ballot is prohibited as outlined in 950 CMR 4 7.19.
If I vote absentee can I also vote at the polls on Election Day?
Voting in Person at the Polls after submitting an absentee ballot is allowed as long as the absentee ballot was not cast prior to arrival. M.G.L. 54,sec 100.
When Can an EARLY BALLOT or ABSENTEE BALLOT be mailed?
Under current law, EARLY BALLOTS can only be mailed or voted on during a specific period set by M.G.L.. ABSENTEE BALLOTS can be mailed or voted on as soon as they are available. Usually, 30 days before and election. (Mailed ballots need to pay attention to the Post office and their time table for delivery)
Mail the completed application to:
Hudson Town Clerk's Office
78 Main Street
Hudson, MA. 01749
or email: Jwordell@townofhudson.org
Absentee ballots are generally available 2-3 weeks prior to an election.
Deadlines to Apply for an Absentee Ballot
Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the Town Clerk by noon on the day before an election. A voter who is admitted to a health care facility after noon of the fifth day prior to an election may apply for a ballot up until the close of polls and may request to have the ballot hand-delivered.
Return of Absentee Ballots
Mailed Absentee Ballots include a return envelope that can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Town Clerk's Office. Ballots CAN NOT be returned to the polling location on Election Day. They must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office for processing before they are sent by Town Clerk’s staff to the polls on Election Day. All Absentee Ballots must be received before the close of Polls on Election Day to be counted.
Track your Absentee Ballot
For State Elections only, you can track your absentee ballot request to see if the Town Clerks Office has received and processed your application. You are able to see when a ballot was sent to you and how as well as when the returned ballot has been received in the Office of the Town Clerk.
Voters Living Outside of the U.S.
For Federal & State General Elections only, members of the Uniformed Services or U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S. may request an Absentee Ballot be emailed, faxed or mailed to them. See above to download this application. For those submitting their ballot electronically (either fax or e-mail), it must be returned to the Town Clerks Office by the Close of Polls on Election Day. For those submitting their ballot by mail, it must be postmarked by Election Day and received at the Town Clerks office by 5:00 p.m. EST, 10 days after the election.
Permanently Disabled Voters
A voter who is permanently disabled need not submit a request for an Absentee Ballot every election. If such a voter submits a note from a registered physician indicating that he is disabled permanently, the Town Clerk will automatically send an application for an absentee ballot each year for all elections during the year.
Please contact the Town Clerk's Office for any additional information or questions: 978-568-9617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.