Absentee and Early Voting

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Absentee vs. Early Voting

Click HERE for Mail-In voting information.

In Massachusetts, absentee voting is available in all elections, while early voting is available only in certain 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 elections in which early voting is available, there may still be certain circumstances when it would be appropriate to apply for an absentee ballot instead of an early ballot. such as: incarceration, quarantine (within 1 week of the election), and hospitalization (within 1 week of the election).

Voting for Military and Overseas U.S. Citizens

If you are a Massachusetts citizen, you have the right to vote in all elections, even if you are deployed, stationed outside the Commonwealth, or residing overseas. Military voters, dependent family members of military voters, and overseas citizens are protected by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), a federal law which guarantees your voting rights.

Please click HERE for more information about the Federal Post Card Application

PLEASE NOTE: For city and town elections, you will receive your ballot by mail. If you do not receive your ballot in time, you have the option of submitting a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) by e-mail or fax.
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Absentee Ballot Eligibility

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
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Applying for a Ballot

Absentee ballots must be requested in writing at least 5 business days before Election Day. Applications are available for download below. For absentee ballot applications, a member of your family may also make the request on your behalf.

Absentee Ballot Application (English)

Peticion de Voto en Ausencia (Spanish)

缺席選票申請 (Chinese)

If you need an application mailed to you, you may contact the Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683) or elections@sec.state.ma.us or you may contact our office directly.

How to submit your application:

  • BY MAIL: City Clerk’s Office, 210 Main Street, Room 4, Northampton MA 01060
  • BY EMAIL: voting@northamptonma.gov
  • BY FAX: (413) 587-1220
  • IN HAND: Drop-off box located at Front Steps of City Hall, 210 Main Street (as of 9/3/2020 a bigger GREY box installed)