2010 Information For Voters

Voting…

Where do I vote?

Polling places are located in each precinct in your city or town. Call your local election official or my office at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683) or 617-727-2828 to find out where your polling place is located. You can also visit my website at www.wheredoivotema.com to look up your polling place and view a sample ballot.

All polling places are required by federal and state law to be accessible to elderly and disabled voters.

How long are the polls open?

The polls must be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for State Elections. Some municipalities may open their polls as early as 5:45 a.m. Please call your city or town clerk to verify your polling hours.

How do I find out what offices and candidates are on my ballot?

Sample ballots as well as instruction cards are posted at the polls on election day. Also, you can view a sample ballot at my website: www.wheredoivotema.com.

What if I need assistance?

If you need assistance because of vision impairment, disability, inability to read or to read English, you may seek help from either a person of your choice or from election officials. You may also ask the election officials to use the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal, which is an accessible ballot marking device, to mark your ballot. As part of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), there will be at least one AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal at each polling location. The AutoMARK allows a voter to mark their ballot privately and independently. After inserting the ballot into the AutoMARK, the voter can review the ballot and make selections by using the touch screen and/or the keypad while listening to the ballot over a set of headphones. After making all of the choices on the ballot, the AutoMARK will mark the ballot in accordance with the voter’s choices by filling in the corresponding ovals or connecting the arrows on the ballot. The ballot will then be returned to the voter for deposit into the ballot box.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot?

If you make a mistake on your ballot, you may request a new one. You may request up to two new ballots.

Can I bring materials into the polling place?

Yes, you may bring materials into the voting booth. You can bring preprinted brochures or pamphlets, or your own notes, but you cannot display such materials while in the polling location.

Voting by Absentee Ballot

You may vote by absentee ballot if you:

  • will be absent from your city or town on election day; or
  • have a disability that prevents your voting at the polling place; 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. Click here to download an absentee ballot application.

You must apply for an absentee ballot from your city or town clerk or election commission no later than noon on 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 may apply in the same manner for you. 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,
  • your own signature.

A ballot will be sent to any address you specify – including your own home. Be sure to apply early.

Requesting to vote in person...

If you meet the qualifications to vote absentee, but do not want to have a ballot mailed to you, 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 on the day before the election. Call the clerk’s office to make certain that the absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots should be available three weeks before an election.

Voting by absentee ballot . . .

The ballot will come with instructions and a set of return envelopes. After making your choices on the ballot, you must enclose it in the inner (smaller) brown envelope and complete the information on the front of that envelope and sign it. Then you put the smaller envelope in the bigger envelope, place proper postage on it and mail it back to your city or town hall. 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.

What if I am permanently disabled?

If you are permanently 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 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.