Senator Rausch's 2020 Elections Guide

In July, a new Massachusetts law took effect that allows all registered voters to vote by mail in all 2020 elections. Here is Senator Rausch's guide on how to vote by mail in both the September 1 primary and the November 3 general election.

How to Vote by Mail in Massachusetts

Register to vote

You must be registered to vote in order to request a mail-in-ballot. If you would like to register to vote or check your registration status, click here. The deadline to register for the September 1 primary election is Saturday, August 22; the deadline for the November 3 general election is Saturday, October 24.

If you’re a registered voter, you can vote by mail in 2020! That’s it. No additional qualifications required.

Get and fill out a vote by mail application 

In advance of the September 1 primary election, the law requires that every registered voter be sent a vote-by-mail application pre-addressed to your local election office. If you would like to be proactive about submitting your ballot, you can download the application online and submit it to your local election office or call 1-800-462-VOTE to get a copy mailed to you. If you complete your application in July or August, you can request a mail-in ballot for both 2020 elections: the September 1 primary and the November 3 general. If you are an unenrolled or independent voter, make sure you indicate on the application which party's primary ballot you want to receive. Don't forget to sign and date the application. If you do not apply for a mail-in ballot for the primary, or you miss the deadline, you'll get another application in the mail in September to vote by mail in the November 3 general election.

 

Send in your vote by mail application

Simply mail, email, fax, or drop off your application to your town or city clerk. The application sent to you will be pre-addressed with postage guaranteed. If you submit the application via email, the application must still have your signature on it. Your local election official (that's your town or city clerk) must RECEIVE your application by 5PM on the Wednesday before the election: August 26 for the September primary and October 28 for the November general election. 

Important Dates

  • Voter Registration Deadline:

    • Primary: Saturday, August 22

    • General: Saturday, October 24

  • Deadline for election official to receive your ballot application:

    • Primary: Wed., August 26, 5PM

    • General: Wed., October 28, 5PM

  • In-person early voting:

    • Primary:​ August 22-28

    • General: October 17-30

  • Election Day:

    • Primary:​ Tuesday, September 1

    • General: Tuesday, November 3

  • Deadline to submit your ballot:

    • Primary: Ballot must be received by 8 PM on election day. Mail your ballot EARLY to ensure it arrives on time and will be counted.

    • General: If you drop off your ballot to your local election official, it must be received by
      8 PM on election day; if you mail it, your ballot must be postmarked no later than election day and received by your clerk by 5 PM on Friday, November 6.

 

 

Receive, fill out, and submit your mail-in ballot

A mail-in ballot will be sent to you at the address where you registered to vote, or a different address of your choosing if you designated it on your application. You will receive your ballot, instructions for voting by mail and completing your ballot, and an envelope pre-addressed with postage guaranteed to send to your local clerk. Remember to check the back side of your ballot and vote there too. Put your completed ballot inside the yellow ballot envelope. Seal the ballot envelope and complete the top portion of the exterior. Do not forget to sign it. 

Then, put the signed and sealed ballot envelope inside the white mailing envelope and seal that one. Like the application, the ballot mailing envelope will be pre-addressed and postage prepaid. For the primary, your ballot must be received by 8PM, when the polls close, on Tuesday, September 1 (election day), whether you drop off your ballot or send it in the mail. Mail it early to ensure it arrives on time. The U.S. Postal Service is experiencing delays, sometimes up to or exceeding 10 days. 

 

For the general, if you drop off your ballot, the deadline is 8PM on election day, Tuesday, November 3. If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked no later than election day and received by your town or city clerk by 5PM on Friday, November 6. 

Casting Your Ballot in Person

If you do not want to vote by mail, you can still vote early in person or head to the polls on election day. Please note that voting by mail is the safest option for you and your community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

In-Person Early Voting

Voting early in person will be available for the September primary election and November general election. For the primary, polling will begin on Saturday, August 22, 2020, and end on Friday, August 28, 2020. For the general, polling will begin on Saturday, October 17, 2020, and end on Friday, October 30, 2020. Early voting schedules and locations will be posted at www.MassEarlyVote.com by August 14 for the primary and by October 9 for the general. 

 

Voting on Election Day

Polls will be open from at least 7AM-8PM on election day for both the primary and general elections. Check your town or city website for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Am I eligible to vote by mail?

  2. Can I request both my primary ballot and my general ballot at the same time?

  3. Will applications and ballots be available in multiple languages?

  4. What happens if I never receive my application in the mail?

  5. What happens if I cannot print my application for a mail-in ballot?

  6. When is the deadline to submit my application to vote by mail?

  7. Can I track my application and ballot?

  8. What happens if I want my ballot mailed to a different address?

  9. What if I still want to vote in person? OR if I miss a voting by mail deadline, how can I vote in person?

  10. If I move right before the election, what should I do?

  11. Is early voting in-person still available?

  12. What happens if I request a mail-in ballot but don't receive it or decide I don't want to use it?

  1. Am I eligible to vote by mail?
    If you are registered to vote, then yes! Every registered Massachusetts voter can vote by mail in 2020.
     

  2. Can I request both my primary ballot and my general ballot at the same time?
    Yes. On your vote by mail application, check the boxes labeled “September 1, 2020 Primary” and “November 3, 2020 Election” to receive both your primary and general election ballot in the mail (note: they will come at different times). You can also check the “All 2020 Elections” box to receive all ballots for any election throughout the remainder of the year.
     

  3. Will applications and ballots be available in multiple languages?
    Yes. You can contact your local elections office to determine what languages the documents will be available in.
     

  4. What happens if I never receive my application in the mail?
    If you do not receive your application in the mail you can fill out this form and mail or email the application in. You can find your local election office address or email here. You may also request a ballot by phone at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683) or by emailing elections@sec.state.ma.us
     

  5. What happens if I cannot print my application for a mail-in ballot?
    Any written request addressed to your local election office that clearly denotes that you are requesting a ballot to vote by mail is acceptable, as long as it contains your full name, residential address, where to mail your ballot (if different than your residential address), and a signature in your handwriting (you can sign your name digitally or scanned on paper, but typed signatures are not acceptable). If you are requesting a state primary ballot and you are not registered in a political party, you must also specify the party ballot that you are requesting. 
     

  6. When is the deadline to submit my application to vote by mail?
    Your local elections office must receive your application by August 26th for the September primary election and October 28th for the November general election in order for you to get your ballot in time to vote. 
     

  7. Can I track my application and ballot?
    Yes. You can track your application or ballot here. If there are no results that either means you entered information in wrong or your application has not been received. If it says “pending,” then your application was received and a ballot will be sent to you. Otherwise it will say the date your ballot was mailed.
     

  8. What happens if I want my ballot mailed to a different address?
    The application will include a section labeled “Mail Ballot to” where you may designate a mailing address if it is different from your residential address.
     

  9. What if I still want to vote in person? OR if I miss a voting by mail deadline, how can I vote in person?
    There will still be options to vote early for both the primary and general election as well as the option to vote on election day. See the “Voting early in person” or “Voting on election day” sections above for more information.
     

  10. If I move right before the election, what should I do?
    Massachusetts law permits you to vote in the city you are registered in up to six months after you move, provided that you have not yet registered at your new address. If you can no longer receive mail at your previous address because you have moved, you may request your ballot to be sent to your new address or the address of a family member or friend. You may also vote at your previous polling place in person, either on the designated early voting dates or on Election Day. 
     

  11. Is early voting in-person still available?
    Yes. See the “Voting early in person” section above for more information.
     

  12. What happens if I request a mail-in ballot but don't receive it or decide I don't want to use it?
    No problem - you can request a replacement ballot from your local clerk or go to the polls instead.

 
 
 
 

© 2020 All rights reserved. This is the official office website for MA State Senator Becca Rausch. Becca's campaign website is maintained separately.