TEWKSBURY/WILMINGTON — You may have received an Official 2020 Vote By Mail Application from the Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin’s office in your mailbox recently. This year, all registered voters in Massachusetts have the option to vote by mail in both the Sept. 1 primary and Nov. 3 general election, due to recent legislation passed by the state legislature in recognition of the impacts and health considerations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The change was enacted to allow all voters to cast a ballot without risking their health or the health of others. If you were one of 4.5 million registered voters in the state who received an application postcard, all you have to do is fill out the tear-off card, sign your name, and drop it in a mailbox or the dropbox at Tewksbury or Wilmington town hall.
The postcards are pre-stamped and pre-addressed to the town clerk’s office. Voters have the option to provide an alternate address to their home address if they will not be home to receive their ballot (such as college students). Unenrolled voters have the option to select a party ballot for the primary.
There are several primary races at the local level this year, a Democratic primary for the Sixth District Congressional seat, and a showdown between incumbent US Senator Ed Markey and Fourth District Representative Joe Kennedy III, both Democrats.
Voters who did not receive or lost their application postcard may download a vote by mail application from www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleev/early-voting-by-mail.htm. The application must be received by the Tewksbury or Wilmington Town Clerk’s Office by Aug. 26 for the state primary and Oct. 28 for the state election.
Voters are encouraged to return all paperwork as early as possible. If you are not registered to vote, you may register online at www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/. Voters who cannot register online are encouraged to reach out to the town clerk’s office at 978-640-4355 (Tewksbury) or (978) 658-2030 (Wilmington).
Prior to each election day, a ballot will be sent to the homes of those who have returned their applications. Voters must follow the instructions to complete their ballots and return it in time to town hall. In-person voting on election day is still available for those who do not wish to vote by mail; however, once you have voted by mail, you cannot vote again.
Additionally, in-person early voting has been extended for the first time. Voters may cast a ballot at town hall early for the state primary from Aug. 22 to 28, and for the general election from Oct. 17 to 30.
For more information, voters may visit www.MailMyBallotMA.com or call Secretary Galvin’s office at 1-800-462-8683.