Absentee ballots must be requested in writing by either the voter or the voter’s family member. The request must be submitted to the local election official.
When completing the application, you may indicate whether you are requesting a ballot for a specific election, or if you will be needing a ballot for all elections this year. Please note that absentee ballot applications expire at the end of each calendar year. If you are a voter with a permanent physical disability, you may file a note from your doctor to that effect with your local election official. Voters with permanent physical disabilities are sent completed applications at the beginning of each year, to be signed and returned to their local election official.
Visit the State Web page on Absentee Voting for more information.
In order to be eligible to vote by absentee ballot in Massachusetts, a voter must be prevented from voting at their polling place on Election Day, due to:
- Absence from the voter’s city or town on Election Day; or
- Physical disability; or
- Religious belief.
The (pdf) Absentee Ballot Application in English and in Spanish (pdf) can be downloaded from the State Web site. Visit the State Web page on Absentee Voting for more information as well as applications in other languages.
The only difference between the absentee application and the vote by mail application is Section 3: Special Circumstances.
If you are voting by mail, you should be sure to submit your application in a timely manner. Please allow enough time for the ballot to be mailed to you and for you to return the ballot by Election Day. All ballots being mailed from inside the United States must be received by your local election official no later than the close of polls on Election Day.
Emergency Absentee Ballot
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.