Vote by Mail
Massachusetts voters now have the option to vote early by mail in all elections, with no excuse required. To request your Vote by Mail ballot, submit a signed application to the Town Clerk's Office.
In addition to no-excuse early voting by mail, Massachusetts has absentee voting for those who qualify. While early Vote by Mail ballots are more common, there are special circumstances where you need to apply for an absentee ballot instead. You can find more information about absentee ballot eligibility under “Absentee Ballots,” below.
Applying for your Ballot
In 2022, Vote by Mail applications will be mailed in July and September to every voter who hasn’t already requested a mail-in ballot for the fall elections. These applications will be pre-addressed to your local election office and postage pre-paid.
Vote by Mail applications may also be downloaded or printed here: Official Vote by Mail Application
Any written request with your signature is an acceptable application. You can simply write a signed letter to the Town Clerk's Office c/o 20 Centre Street, Middleborough MA 02346 to apply for your ballot.
Applications may be submitted in person at the Annex Building, Town Clerk's Office, 20 Centre Street, 1st Floor or in the Town drop box located on the side of the Annex Building to the right of the main entrance, by mail c/o 20 Centre Street, Middleborough MA, 02346, by email to email@example.com, or by facsimile (508) 946-2308. If you are emailing your application, you need to sign it in a way that may be compared to your handwritten signature. Electronic signatures, scanned applications, and photos of applications are acceptable. Typed signatures cannot be accepted.
Applying for a Primary Ballot
If you’re applying for a primary ballot, and you are not registered in a political party (Democrat or Republican), you must indicate which party ballot you prefer to receive. If you do not provide a party on your application, you will not receive a primary ballot.
If you registered as Unenrolled (commonly referred to as “Independent”) or enrolled in political designations, you are allowed to vote in the party primary of your choice. Your ballot choice will not affect your party registration.
Any mail-in ballot must be requested in writing at least five (5) business days before Election Day.
Application deadlines for 2022 are listed below. Your application may only be accepted if it has reached your local election office by the deadline.
STATE PRIMARY OF SEPTEMBER 6, 2022 applications must be received by 5:00 pm, Monday, August 29, 2022.
STATE ELECTION OF NOVEMBER 8, 2022 applications must be received by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, November 1, 2022.
Apply as early as possible, especially if your ballot will need to be mailed out of town. The U.S. Postal Service recommends allowing up to 7 days for mail delivery. To ensure you receive your ballot with enough time to mail it back, you should apply 2-3 weeks before Election Day.
Returning your Ballot
There are several options for returning your ballot. You may return your ballot by:
Mailing it back using the envelope provided; or
Hand-delivering your ballot to your Town Clerk's Office, Annex Building, 1st Floor, Middleborough; or
Dropping your ballot off at an early voting location during early voting hours; or
Using the Town ballot drop box located on the side of the Annex Building, 20 Centre Street to the right of the main entrance doors;
Ballots cannot be dropped off at a polling place on Election Day.
For the September 6, 2022 State Primary, your ballot must reach Town Clerk's Office by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Ballots that arrive after that time – even if they are postmarked on or before Election Day – will not be counted.
For the November 8, 2022 State Election, ballots returned in person or by drop box must be delivered by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots returned by mail from inside the United States must reach the Town Clerk's Office by 5 p.m. on November 11, 2022 in order to be counted. Mailed ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may only be counted if they are postmarked by Election Day.
For all other elections, ballots must reach your local election office by the close of polls on Election Day in order to be counted.
Track Your Ballot
You may use the "Track My Ballot tool" on the Secretary of the Commonwealth's website to check the status of your ballot click here. The tracker will show you the date your ballot was mailed, the date it was returned, and whether your ballot was accepted or rejected.
Voting in Person
You may still vote in person if you have applied to vote by mail. You may vote at an early voting location or your polling place on Election Day.
You cannot vote in person if your ballot has been accepted by your local election office. You cannot take your ballot back or vote again.
Use the Secretary of Commonwealth's website to track your ballot status. If your ballot hasn’t been accepted by Election Day, you may vote in person at your polling place. If your ballot arrives at your local election office after you have voted, the mail-in ballot will be rejected.
To qualify for an absentee ballot, you must:
Be away from your town on Election Day; or
Have a disability that prohibits you from voting at your polling place; or
Have a religious belief that prevents you from voting at your polling place on Election Day
Absentee voters use the same ballots as early voters and have the same deadlines for returning their ballots. Most voters who qualify for an absentee ballot can choose instead to apply for an early Vote by Mail ballot. There are some times that an absentee ballot application is needed. You should fill out Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application if:
You are a U.S. citizen residing overseas; or
You are on active military duty; or
You are currently incarcerated for a reason other than a felony conviction; or
You are requesting an emergency absentee ballot due to hospitalization.
Emergency Absentee Ballots
If you have been admitted to a healthcare facility within 1 week of the election, you may use the absentee ballot application to designate someone of your choice to deliver a ballot to you. The person you designate to deliver your ballot will need to bring the signed application to your local election office, pick up your absentee ballot, bring it to you, and return it for you by the close of polls on Election Day. Emergency ballots may be requested up until the close of polls.
Military & Overseas Voters
If you are a U.S citizen residing out of the country or on active military duty, you may use the Federal Post Card Application or the Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application to request your ballot. More information is available on our page for Voting for Military & Overseas Citizens.
The best application to use is the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), which is an application designed by the federal government specifically for military and overseas voters.
Like other absentee voters, you also have the option of using the Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application or any other written request for an absentee ballot.
Applications may be submitted by mail, e-mail, or fax. Your local election official must be able to view your handwritten signature. For e-mailed applications, you must submit a scan or other image of your application.