A message from Commissioner McCosh: Exercise your right to vote
Dear Disability Community Members,
It feels like we’ve been talking about voting in the upcoming election for such a long time - and the time is finally here! Now is your chance to vote in this important election. The deadline to register to vote is Saturday, October 24. The City of Boston Elections Office will stay open that day until 8 p.m. for voter registrations. Not sure if you’re registered? Find out your voter registration status or register on the state's website.
Once you confirm you are registered, there are three different ways to vote in this year’s state election:
- You can vote early in person at any of 27 early voting sites around the City.
- You can vote by mail by mailing your vote by mail ballot, or by dropping it into any of 17 dropboxes around the city or at any early voting location (see below for info on accessible vote by mail options).
- You can still vote in person at your regular polling location on November 3.
All Boston residents who are registered to vote can now cast their ballots in person at any early voting location! Early voting started this past weekend and runs through Friday, October 30. You don’t need a reason to vote early, just go to one of the locations listed online!
Unlike traditional voting, you don’t have to vote at your assigned polling place during early voting - you can vote at the location that is most convenient for you! There are 27 early voting sites, including Boston City Hall. You can see information on sites across the City and when they are open in the early voting schedule. All early voting locations are accessible to voters with disabilities; all ballot styles will be available at every early voting location; and every location will have an AutoMark machine for voters who need assistance marking a paper ballot.
Voting By Mail
To vote by mail in the State Election, you must submit a vote by mail application by October 28. To ensure timely delivery of your ballot, it is recommended that you submit your application for a November ballot no later than October 20. Applications received after October 28 cannot be accepted. For those of you who receive a vote by mail ballot, your ballot may be returned in two ways. First, it can be sent by mail by following the included instructions. Second, you can drop your ballot off in person to any one of the 17 dropboxes available around Boston. You have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to drop off your ballot. You can also drop off your ballot at any early voting location during the City's early voting period.
Accessible Vote By Mail
Voters who have disabilities that affect their ability to use a printed ballot will be able to cast their votes electronically in this election, but ONLY if you have already signed up to vote by mail. Electronic ballots can be sent via email to the Secretary’s Accessible Vote by Mail Coordinator (AVBM), along with an accessible electronic affidavit with a typewritten signature. This option is only available for voters whose disabilities prevent them from inserting a hand-drawn signature. Voters participating in the AVBM program may also still submit their electronic ballots by mail by printing and placing them in the envelopes provided by local election officials. To get access to the AVBM program, registered voters with disabilities must submit a request for accommodation to the AVBM Coordinator via email at AVBM@sec.state.ma.us or by phone at 617-727-2828. Full instructions are available online.
Voting at the Polls on Election Day
As with every election, you can still go to your local polling place on election day, Tuesday, November 3. Polls are open that day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you do go in person to vote, remember to wear a face covering and practice social distancing in line.
Along with the offices up for election this year, there are two ballot questions in Massachusetts. The first question is regarding motor vehicle mechanical data. The second question is regarding ranked choice voting in Massachusetts. You can learn more about both ballot questions from the state online.
As always, please feel free to reach out to us if you need assistance. You can dial 311 to reach City Hall or call us at 617-635-3682. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and the latest updates are available at Boston.gov.
Until next week, please stay informed, stay safe, and stay healthy!
Commissioner Kristen McCosh