If a voter will be absent from the city during the hours the polls are open, has a physical disability preventing her from going to the polling place, or a religious belief that does not permit her to vote on the day of the election, or if the voter has entered a health care facility anytime after 12 noon on the fifth day before the election, or if the voter qualifies as a non-registered voter who is:
- A Massachusetts citizen absent from the state, or
- An active member of the armed forces or merchant marines, their spouse or dependent, or
- A person confined in a correctional facility or jail except if by reason of felony conviction, then she can vote by absentee ballot. NO other reason is sufficient to vote by absentee ballot.
Application for Absentee Ballot Voting
Application for an absentee ballot must be made in writing, signed by the voter and received by the City Clerk by no later than 12 noon the day before the election. The ballot will be mailed to the voter. In the alternative, the voter can go to the Office of the City Clerk, fill out an application for an absentee ballot and vote in person at the Office of the City Clerk. NO ballot can be taken out of the Office of the City Clerk in hand, unless the voter has entered a health care facility anytime after 12 noon on the fifth day before the election and files an appropriate application.
- If a ballot is mailed to the voter, after voting the ballot can be returned by mail to the Office of the City Clerk or delivered in person in hand by the voter or a family member of the voter to the Office of the City Clerk.
- If delivered in hand to the Office of the City Clerk, the ballot must be given in hand to a member of the staff of the Office of the City Clerk and cannot be left with anyone other than the staff of the Office of the City Clerk.
- If a family member delivers the ballot to the Office of the City Clerk, they must sign their name and relationship on the outer envelope in which the ballot is delivered.
- The Affidavit on the front of the inner envelope in which the absentee ballot is placed MUST be completely and correctly filled out by the voter or the ballot may be rejected by the Board of Registrars.
- Illegal absentee voting, including making a false application, is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
Application for Absentee Ballots