I can’t get to the polls on Election Day. Can I vote?

Yes. 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.

How can I apply for an absentee ballot?

Apply in writing to the Election Department in your city or town and include your:

  • name

  • address as registered

  • address where you wish the absentee ballot sent

  • in a primary, the party ballot you want, and

  • your signature

Download an application form.

Can anyone else apply for an absentee ballot for me?

Yes. A family member may apply for you.  Download family member application form.

When should I submit my application for an absentee ballot?

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is noon the day before the election but we highly recommend requesting your absentee ballot early so there is time for the ballot to be mailed out and for you to return it before the polls close on Election Day.

If you wish to vote by absentee ballot for more than one election in a year you may make one application and request that ballots for all elections during that calendar year be sent to you.

Can I absentee vote in person?

Yes. You can apply and vote at the same time usually for 2-3 weeks before an election. Call your election clerk to make certain that the absentee ballots are available.

Must my ballot be witnessed?


What if I’m not able to mark my absentee ballot?

You may ask any person to help you. The helper must print his or her name and your name on the brown envelope, write the reason you needed help and then sign his or her name as the assisting person.

Are polling places accessible to elderly and disabled voters?

Yes. Federal law requires polling places to be accessible to all voters.

I’m permanently disabled. May I vote at home?

Yes. You must apply to your local election office to do so. File a letter from your doctor with the Election Department. The doctor must state that you are permanently unable to cast your ballot at the polling place due to a physical disability.

The Election Department will automatically mail you an application for an absentee ballot for all elections in a calendar year. You must sign the application and send it back. Call the Election Department for more information about how to register to vote at home or to request that a mail-in registration form be sent to you.

My parent is in a nursing home. Is she/he able to vote by absentee ballot?

Yes, as long as that individual is not under a court ordered guardianship which specifically prohibits voting. Any patient in a nursing home must be a registered voter in order to vote by absentee ballot and must fill out an absentee ballot application.

If the clerk designates a health care facility in writing 28 days before the election, the ballot must be hand-delivered to such facility by a Registrar. If the patient states that he/she has entered a hospital after noon of the fifth day before the election, the ballot may be hand-delivered to the voter; otherwise, the ballot should be mailed to the voter at the facility. Consult the administration of the nursing home for further instructions.

You can return your ballot by mail or you or a family member can return your ballot to your local election office.  You cannot deliver an absentee ballot directly to the polling place on Election Day.   Your ballot must be received by the time polls close on election day.

For more information visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.