How do I get an Absentee Ballot?

Applications for absentee ballots may be obtained from the Town Clerk or the Office of the Secretary of State. Applications may be submitted in person or by mail. The voter, or a family member (father, mother, sibling, daughter, grandparent, grandchild, a spouse or person residing in the same household, in-laws, adopting parent or adopted child, stepparent or stepchild, aunt, uncle, neice or nephew), may submit an application. All applications must be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury by the voter, or a family member, before a ballot will be made available. Application forms are available to download by clicking on the link below:

You may also apply in writing to the Town Clerk to vote absentee. When writing, you must include the following:

  • name
  • address as registered
  • address where you wish the absentee ballot sent
  • in a primary, the party ballot you want
  • your signature

Whichever method you choose, the application or request for an absentee ballot must be made in writing and signed.

Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the Town Clerk before 12:00 noon the day before a state or federal primary or election and before 4pm on the Friday before a town election. (A voter who is admitted to a health care facility after noon of the fifth day before an election may apply for a ballot up until the close of the polls and may request to have the ballot delivered.) Absentee ballots generally are available three weeks before an election.

If the voter submits the application in person, he may obtain the ballot and vote immediately "over-the-counter". If the ballot is not available, it will be sent to the voter by mail. When the application is submitted in person by a family member, the ballot must be sent by mail to the voter. And in all other cases, the ballot is sent by mail.

If you wish to vote by absentee ballot for more than one election in a year you may make one application and request that ballots for all elections during that calendar year be sent to you.

Returning an absentee ballot

Ballots may be returned by mail or in person by the voter or a family member. In general, to be counted, the completed ballot must arrive before the close of the polls on election day (8:00 pm). However, absentee ballots for the state general election that are completed outside the United States will be counted if received by 5:00 p.m. on the tenth day following the election. This exception does not apply to local elections or state primaries. All ballots and envelopes must be signed by the voter, or if the voter is unable to sign, by an assisting person.

Absentee ballots for the disabled

If you are disabled and unable to come to the polls to vote, you need to file a letter from your doctor with the Town Clerk. The doctor must state that you are unable to cast your ballot at the polling place due to a physical disability. The Town Clerk will automatically mail you an application for an absentee ballot for all elections in a calendar year. You must sign the application and send it back to the clerk.

Call the Town Clerk (978-264-1727) for information about how to register to vote at home or to request that a mail-in registration form be sent to you.

Any patient in a nursing home must be a registered voter in order to vote by absentee ballot and must fill out an absentee ballot application. If the clerk designates a health care facility in writing 28 days before the election, the ballot must be hand-delivered to such facility by a Registrar. If the patient states that he/she has entered a hospital after noon of the fifth day before the election, the ballot may be hand-delivered to the voter; otherwise, the ballot should be mailed to the voter at the facility. Consult the administration of the nursing home for further instructions.

Permanently Disabled Voters

A voter who is permanently disabled need not submit a request for an absentee ballot for every election. If such a voter submits a note from a registered physician indicating that the voter is permanently disabled, the Town Clerk will send the voter an application for an absentee ballot twenty-eight days before the first election each year. The application will be as complete as the Town Clerk can make it. The voter in most cases will only have to sign the application, return it, and indicate that the voter would like an absentee ballot for every election in that year. Upon the Town Clerk's receipt of the signed application, the voter will be sent an absentee ballot.