Vote by Mail in 2020: What You Need to Know

Vote by Mail in 2020: What You Need to Know

Vote by mail - 102 yr old Bea Lumpkin

Photo courtesy: CTU Local 101, Soren Kyle
VOTING by Mail Ballot in Massachusetts - In the age of COVID-19, it's becoming increasingly clear that many people will feel safer casting their votes by mail rather than at the polls. By the end of July 2020, every registered voter in Massachusetts should have received a Vote By Mail application from the Secretary of State. If you have not received one, a vote by mail ballot can now be requested from your local town hall/election officeor downloaded from the Secretary of State's website. Applications may also be submitted electronically by fax or e-mail, as long as your signature is visible.

Here's how to do it:

"Registered voters must ensure that completed applications for mail-in voting for the Senate primary on Sept 1, 2020 reach their local election offices by no later than Aug. 26 — via post or drop-off. For the November 3rd election the deadline is October 28th. NOTE: A postmarked date won't count if it arrives later. And, Galvin's office notes that because mail can "take up to a week to be delivered in one direction," voters should really plan to apply for a ballot with a two- to three-week buffer.* Here's how to locate the address of your local election office.

Voters can also download and print their own vote-by-mail application here. Technically, voters also can request a ballot on a plain piece of paper, Galvin said, as long as it contains the right information, and a valid signature."*

Some Tips for Smooth Mail-In Voting:
1.) Make sure you're registered to vote at the correct address and encourage people in your circles to make sure they're registered as well.
You can check your status, update your info, and even register or pre-register (16- and 17-year-olds) online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com.
Deadlines to register to vote are Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 for the September 1st state primary, and Saturday, October 24th, 2020 for the Presidential election on November 3rd. 

2.) You can request a mail-in ballot for a particular election or for the remainder of the year the Massachusetts State Primary (only)  on September 1, and/or the Presidential Election on November 3, 2020. Download an application here . More detailed  information is available at: Elections: COVID-19 Elections Updates Please contact your town clerk (listed below) with any questions. Signed applications can be returned to the Town Clerk in person, by mail, fax or email:

3.) Record turn-out is expected for the 2020 election, and the USPS may be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of mail-in ballots. So if you're planning on voting by mail, make sure you allow plenty of time for your ballot to arrive at your Town Hall by election day. Ballots arriving after that day - even if postmarked with the election date - will not be accepted. 

4.) The Postal Service recommends that voters mail their ballots at least one week before the due date and that they should contact local election officials for information about the specific deadlines.**

* Source: WBUR.org
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* Source: U.S. Postal Service Provides Recommendations for Successful 2020 Election Mail Season

Town Clerk Offices:

Hamilton Town Hall
577 Bay Rd., Hamilto, MA
PO Box 429, Hamilton, MA 01936
Carin Kale, Town Clerk
978-468-5572
ckale [at] hamiltonma.gov

Wenham Town Hall
138 Main St, Wenham, MA 01984
Diane Bucco, Town Clerk
dbucco [at] wenhamma.gov

*Source: WBUR - Mass. 2020 Primary: What To Know About Voting By Mail Or At The Polls