Healthy Voting in Massachusetts

For the September 1, 2020 primary election in Massachusetts

  • All voters can request an absentee ballot.

  • Secure ballot drop-off locations are available.

  • Early voting locations are open before Election Day.

  • Polling places are open on Election Day.

Healthy Voting tips

Voting by mail is a healthy option because it lets you maintain physical distance and helps reduce crowding at in-person voting centers.

If you go out to vote - whether to drop off a ballot or vote in person - follow these common-sense precautions:

  • Wear a mask or other face covering.
  • Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet to protect yourself, election workers, and other voters.
  • Before and after voting, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

If you are sick or concerned that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, seek medical care. If you don’t have an absentee ballot, contact your local election office for guidance about your voting options.


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Voting by mail is a healthy option because you vote at home. If you go out at all, it's only to mail or drop off your ballot.

Deadline to return your ballot
Election Day, September 1 by 8:00 pm. All ballots must be delivered to the elections office by this time. Postmarks don’t count!

Postage is pre-paid, so you don’t need a stamp.

You can track your ballot online.

How to get your ballot

All voters can request a mail-in ballot.

The deadline to request a ballot is August 26, 2020.

You can:

  • Fill out and return the request form you received in the mail.
  • Download, print, and mail a request form.
  • Download and email a request form.
  • Call or visit your local elections office.

Remember:

  • If you are voting by mail for the first time, check the ID requirements carefully.
  • You must sign the form in ink.

If you missed the deadline to request a ballot, contact your elections office for any last-minute or emergency options.

How to return your ballot

Mail it:

  • Put it in your own mailbox for the mail carrier to collect.
  • Put it in a Post Office blue mailbox.
  • Take it to a post office.

Return it in person:

  • To your elections office.
  • At a secure ballot drop-off location.

Make sure your ballot counts! Remember...

  • Be sure to sign the declaration on the return envelope.

  • You don't need a stamp because postage is pre-paid.

  • Return your ballot promptly. Postmarks don't count! 

Healthy tips for voting by mail in Massachusetts

  • If you return your ballot at a mailbox or drop box, wash your hands afterwards for 20 seconds.
  • If you go out to drop off your ballot, practice physical distancing and wear a mask or other face covering to protect yourself and others.
More tips for healthy voting by mail

Early voting is voting in person before Election Day, which is usually less crowded than going to vote on Election Day itself.

August 22 through August 28, early voting locations are open.

Healthy tips for early voting in Massachusetts

  • Follow instructions for healthy voting at your early voting location.
  • Wear a mask or other face covering, and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet to protect yourself, election workers, and other voters.
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Wash with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol before and after voting.
  • If you can, go when the early voting center will not be as busy, usually mid-morning or early-afternoon.
More tips for healthy voting in person

When you vote in person on Election Day, you go to a voting center to mark and cast your ballot in person. Voting centers also have accessible voting systems and language access options.

Polling places are open at least from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.

All polling places are open on Election Day.

Healthy tips for voting in person on Election Day in Massachusetts

  • Follow instructions for healthy voting at your in-person voting location.
  • Wear a mask or other face covering, and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet to protect yourself, election workers, and other voters.
  • Before and after voting, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • If you can, go when the voting center will not be as busy, usually mid-morning or early-afternoon.
More tips for healthy voting in person

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