Last updated on November 1, 2016
Massachusetts absentee ballot deadlines
- Absentee ballot application deadlines: Received by noon on the day before Election Day - but highly recommended that you apply at least one month before Election Day.
- Voted ballots are due: Received by the close of polls on Election Day
Massachusetts absentee ballot rules
You may vote by absentee ballot in Massachusetts if:
- you will be absent from your city or town on Election Day.
- you have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place.
- you cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs
- you are confined in a correctional facility or jail (but NOT on a felony charge) Generally, a voter must be registered in order to vote absentee, though several exceptions exist: Those outside of Massachusetts, prisoners, and members of the armed forces or merchant marine, or their spouses or dependents, do not need to be registered in order to vote absentee.
Massachusetts absentee ballot directions
- Use our Absentee Ballot Tool to prepare your application.
- Sign and date the form. This is very important!
- Return your completed application to your Local Election Official as soon as possible. We’ll provide the mailing address for you.
- All Local Election Officials will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it’s close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Official will let you fax or email the application.
- Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time — simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
- Please contact your Local Election Official if you have any further questions about the exact process.
Once you receive your ballot...
- Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
- Sign and date where indicated.
- Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
- Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.
Helpful voting links