COVID-19 information
/
For the latest updates, please visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website:
Last updated:

Vote by Mail in Boston

If you are a registered voter in Boston, you can vote by mail in the 2022 State Elections.

We have information below on how you can apply to vote by mail in the State Primary on Tuesday, September 6, and the State Election on Tuesday, November 8.

How to Apply

Download

If you want to mail or fax your application, you can download one:

send us your application:

You can scan your signed application and email it back to us at absenteevoter@boston.gov or fax it to us at 617-635-4483. You can also drop off or mail your completed application to:

Elections Department
1 City Hall Square, Room 241
Boston, MA 02201
Office hours: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

DEADLINE

Applications to request a vote-by-mail ballot must be received by Monday, August 29, for the State Primary on Tuesday, September 6.

Tracking your ballot

Boston voters can track their ballot requested by mail through the state's website. We will start mailing out ballots by mid-August. We will continue to mail ballots as applications arrive, until the August 29 application deadline. 

Complete Your Ballot

Mail your ballot right away

You can mail the ballot to the address on the envelope. Please submit your completed ballot as soon as possible. The Boston Election Department is now providing postage paid envelopes for the return of voted ballots. 

You can track your ballot through the state's website. Make sure to call the Elections Department at 617-635-8683 before Election Day if you haven't seen movement in the tracker.

RETURNing YOUR BALLOT IN PERSON?

If you plan to return your ballot in person instead of mailing it, we have dedicated drop boxes available across the City, including at Boston City Hall. You can find a list of drop box locations below. You have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to drop off your ballot.

When installed, our drop boxes will be monitored by surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week leading up until 8 p.m. on Election Day. You can also drop off your ballot at any early voting location during the City's early voting period.

can't drop off your mail-in ballot at your polling location?

If you bring a mail-in ballot to your polling location on Election Day, you will be provided with the opportunity to cast your vote in-person at that polling location.

A poll worker will help you to ensure that your mail-in ballot is spoiled before casting the in-person vote.

Ballot drop box map

View a map of ballot drop boxes across the City. You can also drop your ballot off at any early voting location during the early voting period.
Show Map

List of drop box locations

Location Address Neighborhood
Honan-Allston Branch Library 300 N Harvard St, Allston, Massachusetts, 02134 Allston/ Brighton
Brighton Branch Library 40 Academy Hill Road, Brighton, MA 02135 Allston/ Brighton
Boston Public Library - Central Branch (McKim Building) 700 Boylston Street, Back Bay, MA 02116 Back Bay/ Bay Village
Charlestown Branch Library 179 Main Street, Charlestown, MA 02129 Charlestown
BCYF Quincy Community Center 885 Washington Street, Chinatown, MA 02111 Chinatown-Leather District
Fields Corner Library 1520 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02122 Dorchester
Grove Hall Branch Library 41 Geneva Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02121 Dorchester
Uphams Corner Branch Library 500 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA 02125 Dorchester
Adams Street Branch Library 690 Adams Street, Dorchester, MA 02122 Dorchester
Codman Square Branch Library 690 Washington Street, Dorchester, MA 02124 Dorchester
Boston City Hall (3rd Floor and Congress Street) 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201 Downtown
East Boston Branch Library 365 Bremen Street, East Boston, MA 02128 East Boston
Hyde Park Branch Library 35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136 Hyde Park
Jamaica Plain Branch Library 30 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 Jamaica Plain
Mattapan Branch Library 1350 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126 Mattapan
BCYF Roslindale 6 Cummins Highway, Roslindale, MA 02131 Roslindale
Roxbury Branch Library 149 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA 02119 Roxbury
Parker Hill Branch Library 1497 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA 02120 Roxbury
South Boston Branch Library 646 East Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127 South Boston
West Roxbury Branch Library 1961 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132 West Roxbury

Keep in mind

Absentee Ballots

If you have already applied for an Absentee Ballot, you do not need to fill out an application for a mail-in ballot.

In-person voting

Some voters are concerned that mail-in voting will be their only option for voting in the 2022 State Elections. The Boston Election Department would like to reassure voters that in-person voting will remain an option for all precincts.

 
Early Voting

For convenience and to reduce crowding, early voting will be available in the City of Boston:

  • State Primary: Saturday, August 27, through Friday, September 2.

Early voting information

Common Questions

Questions
Can I vote by mail?

Yes, every registered voter is eligible to vote by mail this year.

What if I am not registered?

You need to be a registered voter to vote by mail. The deadline to register to vote in the State Primary is Saturday, August 27, 2022, at 5 p.m. You can register online, by mail, or in person at Boston City Hall.

Can I register to vote and apply for my ballot at the same time?

Yes. As long as your registration form is received or postmarked 10 days before the election, your application can be submitted with your registration form. For the State Primary Election, that deadline date is Wednesday, August 27, at 5 p.m.

What if I'm not sure where I'm registered?

Before you fill out your mail-in ballot application, use the state's website to confirm that you're registered at your current address.

What if I'm still registered at an old address?

If the voter registration deadline hasn't passed yet, you should register to vote at your current address. If there isn't time to update your address, you should apply using your old address where you are registered to vote if:

  • you have moved within the same city or town where you are registered, OR
  • you have moved to a new city or town in Massachusetts within six months of the election.

When you apply by mailing a paper application, emailing your application to absentee@boston.gov (be sure to sign), or bringing your application to City Hall Room 241, you can request that your ballot be sent to your new address.

How do I vote by mail?

If you are a registered Boston voter, submit a 2022 vote-by-mail application by mail, email, fax, to the Boston Election Department:

Election Department
1 City Hall Square, Room 241
Boston, MA 02201
Email: absenteevoter@boston.gov
Fax: 617-635-4483

How soon do I need to apply for my ballot?

You should apply as soon as possible. We need to receive your application at least four business days before Election Day. Remember that it can take up to a week for the mail to be delivered in one direction, so it's best to try to apply at least two to three weeks before the election.

What if I can't print the Vote-by-Mail Application?

Any written request is acceptable, as long as it is signed. You can write a letter to our office that says you want a ballot:

Election Department
1 City Hall Square, Room 241
Boston, MA 02201

Make sure to include your name, address, and where to mail your ballot.

Where do I send my application?

If you are a registered Boston voter, send your application to our office:

Election Department
1 City Hall Square, Room 241
Boston, MA 02201
Email: absenteevoter@boston.gov
Fax: 617-635-4483

Can I email my application?

Yes, but the application needs to be signed. You can either:

  1. sign your application by hand and email an image of your application to our office, or
  2. sign your name using a mouse, stylus, or finger and then send that saved application to our office.

Typed signatures are not acceptable.

Can I fax my application?

Yes. If you have access to a fax machine, you can fax your application to our office at 617-635-4483.

Can I sign my application digitally?

Yes, but your signature has to be similar to your hand-written signature. You can sign your name on a computer or phone using a mouse, finger, or stylus. Typed signatures are not acceptable.

How do I know if my application was received?

You can use the state's website to track your mail-in ballot. If your application is marked as "Pending," that means your application has been received and your ballot will be mailed out as soon as it is ready. If the website can't find a record for you, that may mean that your application hasn't been received yet. You should call us at 617-635-8683.

Where is my ballot?

You can use the state's website to track your mail-in ballot. If the ballot has already been mailed, you will be able see the date it was mailed. If the website can't find a record for you, that may mean that your application hasn't been received yet and you should call us at 617-635-8683.

If I vote by mail, can I change my mind and vote in person?

It depends. If you mailed your early ballot back and it was accepted by our office, then your ballot is considered to be cast and you can't vote again. If your ballot never reached our office — or if it was rejected for some reason — then you can vote in person.

What if I need assistance in voting?

If you need assistance voting because you have a physical disability or you have difficulty reading your ballot, you can ask any other person to assist you in marking your ballot in your presence.

If you cannot sign your name on the ballot envelope, the person assisting you should sign your name in the space provided for the voter's signature. They should then provide their own information in the space provided for the assisting person. If you need an accommodation because of a physical disability, you may apply to the state's Elections Division.

Can someone else fill out my ballot for me if I am not home?

No. Only you can fill out your ballot and sign your ballot envelope, unless you are unable to do so because of physical disability or inability to read your ballot. All help must be provided in your presence. You can, however, have a ballot mailed to you wherever you are.

If I apply for a Vote-by-Mail ballot, does that mean I can't vote in person?

No. You can vote in person as long as you haven't already voted by mail. If you choose not to return your mail-in ballot, you can vote in person on Election Day or during early voting. You can also vote in person if you mail your ballot and it does not reach your election office by Election Day, or if your mail-in ballot is rejected for any reason.

If you don't feel comfortable mailing your ballot, we will have drop boxes located across the City that will be available until 8 p.m. on Election Day. You can also drop off your ballot at any early voting location during the early voting period.

Do I need to send ID with my ballot?

Maybe. First-time voters in Massachusetts are sometimes required by federal law to present ID showing their name and the address where they registered to vote. If you are required to show ID, we will send you a notice with your ballot. Make sure you send a copy of your ID on the outside of your ballot envelope, because the ballot envelope can't be opened until it is time to count the ballots.

How can I return my ballot?

You can return you ballot by mail or in person. If you are mailing your ballot, use the return envelope that was provided with the ballot, which is pre-addressed for your convenience. If you don't want to mail your ballot, you can drop if off at any of the drop boxes located across the City of Boston through 8 p.m. on Election Day, as well as at an early voting location during the early voting period. You may also return your ballot to City Hall, during regular working hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Our drop boxes will be monitored by surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week leading up until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

When do I need to return my ballot?

For the State Primary, if you're mailing your ballot, it needs to reach us by September 6, 2022. If you're hand-delivering your State Primary ballot to us or dropping it in a drop box, it needs to be returned by 8 p.m. on September 6.

Can I track my ballot?

Yes, you can track your ballot on the state's website. This page will show you:

  • if your application has been received
  • the date your ballot is mailed
  • the date your ballot is received at your local election office, and
  • whether your ballot is accepted or rejected.
Will my ballot be counted if it arrives after Election Day?

No, your ballot will not be counted if it arrives after the September 6, 2022, State Primary election date. If you think your ballot may not arrive in time to be counted, consider returning it by hand-delivery or voting in person.

How do I know my ballot was counted?

Your ballot will be counted in a public space, either at your polling place or at a central tabulation facility in Boston. You can use the state's website to confirm your ballot was accepted.

Why was my ballot rejected?

If your ballot was rejected, it is most likely because you did not sign the affidavit on your ballot envelope. The Boston Election Department will notify you if your ballot is rejected and the reason it was rejected.

If there is enough time left before the election, you will also be sent a new ballot. You will also have the option of voting in person until 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Back to top