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CommunityTown Updates

Voting in Blackstone: 2020 Presidental Election Information

We’ve put together a quick guide to voting in Blackstone. However way you want to vote, its important to get out there and to be counted. There are three major ways to vote:

  1. Voting by Mail
  2. Early Voting
  3. Voting in Person on Election Day

Hold your horses! You can’t cast a ballot unless you’re a registered voter. If you haven’t registered, the last day to register to vote in Massachusetts for the 2020 election is Saturday, October 24, 2020 by 8PM.

Voting by Mail

Registered voters can take advantage of the option to vote by mail with either an Absentee Voting (AV) or Early Voting (EV) Ballot for the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election.

Absentee Voting

Absentee voting is available for all elections, for those voters who qualify. To qualify for an absentee ballot, you must:

  • Be away from your city/town on Election Day; or
  • Have a disability that keeps 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 Voting vs. Early Voting

Massachusetts has absentee voting for all elections and early voting for some elections. The two systems overlap in several ways, but the most important difference is that absentee voters must have an excuse (listed above), while there is no excuse needed in order to vote early.

In general, most voters who do not vote on Election Day in 2020 will cast an early ballot, either by mail or in person, but there are certain circumstances when it would be appropriate to apply for an absentee ballot instead of an early ballot.

You should complete an absentee ballot application if you are:

  • A military voter on active duty;
  • A Massachusetts citizen residing outside of the United States;
  • A voter who has been admitted to the hospital within 1 week of the election;
  • A voter who has been quarantined within 1 week of the election;
  • A voter who is incarcerated.

Important Information

Application requirements and Due Date: Application is required for both Absentee Voting (AV) and Early Voting (EV). October 28 5PM is the deadline to apply for a Vote by Mail or an Absentee Ballot for the November 3rd Presidential Election.

If you want to request for your Absentee or Early Ballot by Mail, send a request by mail to: Blackstone Town Clerk; 15 St. Paul Street, Blackstone, MA 01504. You can also send your official Absentee Ballot Application or an Early Voter Ballot Application by email to tsullivan@townofblackstone.org

Request should include: voter name, Blackstone street address, phone number, mailing address, signature of voter, and whether you would like an Absentee Ballot or an Early Voter Ballot.

Eligibility: AV requires qualified registered voters to have a specific reason in order to vote (Absence, disability, religion belief, social distancing). All qualified registered voters are eligible for Early Voting by Mail.

Tabulation of Ballots: Counted on Election Day for both AV and EV.

Application by a Family Member: Family members may apply for an Absentee Ballot on behalf of a voter. For EV, family members may not request a ballot on behalf of a registered voter.

Once you Cast the Ballot: Once a voter returns their AV ballot, they may still vote on Election Day as long as their ballot has not been processed. However, once a voter returns their EV ballot and it is received by the Town Clerk’s office, it is considered a cast ballot and they may no longer vote on Election Day or any other way.

How to return your ballots

Important: Any ballots returned without the signed secrecy envelope are known as “naked ballots” and they will not be counted. Sec. of State Bill Galvin says voters who submitted naked ballots will be given a second chance to vote ahead of the election, but with Election Day coming up fast we recommend getting it right the first time.

OPTION 1: Completed ballots can be returned to the Town Hall at the Drop Box located at the front of the entrance of the Town Hall.

Image taken from Facebook as posted by Tara Sullivan

The Drop Box is checked often, and will be checked multiple times over the weekend as confirmed by Town Clerk Tara Sullivan.

OPTION 2: You can also mail back your completed ballots with the included return envelop. If you are returning your ballot through the mail, please take into account possible mail delays and leave ample time for your ballot to reach the Town Clerk’s Office. Ballots received after Election Day cannot be counted.

Early Voting

Most states allow voters to cast ballots in person before Election Day, this includes Massachusetts. For Blackstone, we have early voting!

The Early Voting happens in the Blackstone Town Hall for all three precincts.

When early voting in person, the election officials will check you in, similar to the process used on Election Day. After voting, you will enclose your ballot into an envelop to be counted on Election Day.

Early Voting in Person started last Saturday but here’s the schedule moving forward:

October 20, 2020; Tuesday8:30AM – 4:30PM
October 21, 2020; Wednesday8:30AM – 4:30PM
October 22, 2020; Thursday8:30AM – 4:30PM
October 23, 2020; Friday8:30AM – 12:00PM
October 24, 2020; Saturday10:00AM – 2:00PM
October 25, 2020; Sunday10:00AM – 2:00PM
October 26, 2020; Monday8:30AM – 4:30PM
October 27, 2020; Tuesday8:30AM – 4:30PM
October 28, 2020; Wednesday8:30AM – 4:30PM
October 29, 2020; Thursday8:30AM – 4:30PM
October 30, 2020; Friday8:30AM – 12:00PM
An application is NOT required to vote early in person… just show up and vote!

Voting in Person on Election Day

It’s Election Day on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. In-person voting the day of the Presidential Election will take place at each Blackstone precinct from 7AM to 8PM.

When it comes to safety, voters and election workers will be encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing at the polls.

Precinct 1: Senior Center (lower level) Town Hall

15 St. Paul Street

Precinct 2: St. Theresa’s Church (parish hall)

630 Rathbun Street

Precinct 3: Main Meeting Room (upper level) Town Hall

15 St. Paul Street

What to bring

  • You may be asked to show identification if: you are voting for the first-time in Massachusetts in a federal election, you are an inactive voter, you are casting a provisional or challenged ballot, or if the poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification. Acceptable forms include (must show your name and address at which you are registered to vote): a MA driver’s license or MA-issued ID card; recent utility bill; rent receipt; signed lease; a copy of a voter registration affidavit; or any other printed identification which contains the voter’s name and address.
  • Voters without ID: If you’re a first-time voter who is unable to present ID when you check in, you may vote a provisional ballot and return with acceptable ID by close of polls. If you’re asked for ID for any other reason, and are not able to present ID in such a situation, you must still be permitted to vote; however, your ballot must be challenged. Your ballot will be cast normally, and will only be re-examined in the case of a recount, court order, or audit.
  • For more information, visit the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website.

Did you know you can track your ballot?

Or you can call the local election office for the most up-to-date info on where your ballot is.

If you have questions about Voting for the Presidential Election, call the Town Clerk at (508)-883-1500 Ext. 116

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