Where will I vote?
Polling places are located in each precinct. Call your local clerk or election commission if you need to find out where your polling place is located. The phone number can be found in the white pages or business pages of your telephone book under the name of your city or town. Additionally, all polling places are required by federal law to be accessible to elderly and disabled voters.
When are elections held?
Presidential primaries are held once every four years in March.
State elections occur every other year in even numbered years. The primary is conducted in September and the election in November.
Town elections usually occur every year sometime between February and June. Each town sets its own date.
City elections occur every other year in odd numbered years. The preliminary, if there is one, is held in September or October and the election is held in November.
If I cannot read or write, or read or write in English, can I vote?
Yes, as long as you are registered. You may ask any person of your choice to help you or you may request help from the election officials at the polling place.
At the polls...
Polls must be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for state elections; the hours vary for local elections. Sample ballots and instructions are posted at the polls on election day.
When you enter the polling place give your address and name to the election official at the check-in table. If your name is not on the voters list read on to the next question for instructions.
If you need help, ask an election official for assistance.
Should you spoil your ballot you may request another.
What should I do if my name is not on the voter's list?
Ask the election officer in charge of the polling place to check your registration by looking at the inactive voters list and calling city or town hall.
If that is not successful you may go to your city or town hall to attempt to establish your identity as a registered voter. If the election officers are satisfied of your registration, you will be given a certificate stating such. You may either vote there by absentee ballot or you may return to your polling place, present the certificate provided at city or town hall and cast your ballot there.
If your registration cannot be verified, you may cast a ballot which is held aside and counted only if the election is very close. This is called an escrow ballot.
How to vote by an Absentee Ballot
Voting by absentee ballot...
You may vote by absentee ballot if you:
- will be absent from your city or town on election day, and/or
- have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place, and/or
- cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs.
Applying for an absentee ballot...
All applications for absentee ballots must be made in writing.
You must apply for an absentee ballot from your city or town clerk or election commission no later than noon of the day before the election. Applications may be mailed or hand delivered and you may use any form of written communication (letter or postcard) or the official application form.
A family member of a person qualified to vote by absentee ballot may apply in the same manner for you.
To be counted, a completed ballot must be received by the time the polls close on election day.
If you are not able to write, the person assisting you must sign your name as well as their name, address and telephone number. Follow the directions on the brown envelope very carefully.
Requesting to vote by absentee ballot...
A ballot will be sent to any address you specify - including your own home. Be sure to apply early. Include on the application:
- your name and address as registered,
- ward and precinct, if you know them,
- the precise address where the ballot should be sent,
- the party ballot you wish in a primary, and,
- your own signature.
Requesting to vote in person...
If you prefer, you may request to vote in person before election day. You may vote at your city or town hall before election day at a time arranged with the clerk, but the application for your ballot must be made no later than noon of the day before the election. A voter may apply for an absentee ballot and then vote over-the-counter during the same visit.
Call the clerk's office to make certain that the absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots should be available three weeks before an election.
What if I am permanently disabled?
If you are permanently physically disabled and cannot cast your vote at the polling place, you may file a letter from your physician with your city or town clerk, stating that you are permanently unable to cast your vote at the polling place because of physical disability. A completed application for an absentee ballot for you to sign and return will be mailed to you by the city or town clerk at least 28 days before every primary and election.