FAQ on Early and Absentee Voting

FAQ From Town Clerk:

How will I know when a new Annual Town Election date is set?  Notice of new election date must be provided to the public in other ways reasonably calculated to enable eligible voters to learn of the rescheduled election date including using a “reverse-911” call, municipal list-serve notifications, advertisement on local cable television or issuance of a press release sent to local news media.  On March 24, 2020, the Board of Selectmen voted to re-schedule the Annual Town Election to June 9, 2020.

What happens to an incumbent elected official whose term would have expired at the Annual Town Election on March 31, 2020?  The incumbent elected official shall continue to serve in the official’s position until a successor is elected and qualified (which is already set forth in section 107 of chapter 41 of the General Laws).

Is it too late to register to vote in the new Annual Town Election?  No.  There will be a new voter registration deadline set which will 10 days before the new election date, Friday, May 29, 2020, from 8AM-12:30PM and from 2 PM to 4 PM and from 7 PM to 8 PM.

Will new election ballots/materials be printed?  No.  Election materials from the original election date for the new election date, including all ballots — absentee and official, will have the date of the original election on them

If I already cast an absentee ballot for the March 31, 2020 Annual Town Election, will my ballot be counted for the new election date?  Yes.   However, a voter who wants to vote in person on the date of the new election  may do so if their absentee ballot has not yet been counted.

Am I eligible to apply for an absentee ballot application due to COVID-19?  Eligibility for apply for an absentee ballot now also includes a physical disability prevent the voter from going to the polling place (only until June 30, 2020) to include any person taking precaution related to COVID-19 in response to a declared state of emergency or from guidance from a medical professional, local or state health official, or any civil authority.  Click here for an application.  Applications for an absentee ballot must be received in the Office of the Town Clerk by noon the day before the June 9, 2020 Annual Town election.  You may mail, email, or fax the application to the Office of the Town Clerk.  Address:  41 Cochituate Rd., Wayland, MA  01778; email:  townclerk@wayland.ma.us;fax: (508) 358-1683  Please allow ample time for mailing of the ballot.  Ballots can not be picked up in person.

If I am not eligible to apply for absentee ballot are there other ways than appearing at the polls to vote?  Yes.  Early voting by mail, as of March 25, 2020,  is an option for any annual or special municipal or state election held on or before June 30, 2020.  Wayland’s new Annual Town Election is June 9, 2020.

How do I arrange to early vote (EV) by mail?  Voters must submit a written request for an EV ballot which can be the application or any form of written communication asking for an EV ballot.  Click here for an Early Voting application.  Early Voting applications are also available 24 hours per day in the vestibule at Town Hall, at the Office of the Town Clerk, and on the Secreteary of the Commonwealth website.  Applications for Early Vote by mail must be received in Office of the Town Clerk by noon the day before the June 9, 2020 Annual Town Election.  You may mail (Office of the Town Clerk, 41 Cochituate Rd, Wayland, MA), email (townclerk@wayland.ma.us), or fax the application to (508) 358-1683.  Please allow for ample time for the Town Clerk’s Office to mail the ballot.  Ballots can not be picked up in person and must be returned to the Office of the Town Clerk by close of the polls on election day.  Voters may not bring ballots to the polls on elecion day.

What are the deadlines to apply for either an Absentee Ballot or Early Voting ballot?  Noon on the day before the June 9, 2020 election.  The deadline for you to return completed ballots to the Office of the Town Clerk (ballots can not be returned to the polls) is the close of polls (8pm) on the new election date

What’s the difference between early voting and absentee voting?  Differences include application requirements, eligibility, method and timing of voting, applications made by family members, and once a ballot is cast.  Click here to see a chart detailing the differences between Early Voting and Absentee Voting.

What is the most common mistake voters make when completing applications to vote absentee and early?  Voters who are registered as unenrolled (formerly known as independent) check the box indicating they would like a ballot for each election this calendar year, but forget to note what party ballot (Democratic, Green Rainbow, Libertarian, or Republican) they would like to receive for the state primary election (scheduled for September 1, 2020).  Without this information, the state computer system will not allow the Clerk’s Office to process the application for the Annual Town election.

I applied for an Early Voting ballot, why does my ballot says Absentee ballot?  There was no mistake.  If a voter completes an Early Voting application, the voter will receive an absentee ballot with the “absentee” crossed out and “early voting” written in red in an Early Voting return envelope.  Going out, the early voting application is logged by the Town Clerk’s Office into the state computer system as early voting application.  Coming in,  your ballot is sealed (by the voter) in an early voting and logged by the Town Clerk’s Office into the state computer system as a cast early voting ballot.  All early voting ballots and absentee ballots are opened by an election worker at the polls, checked in an election worker, checked out by an election worker, and cast (put through the voting tabulator).  

Can I vote in person at the new Annual Town Election?  Yes.  Please observe social distancing protocols and consider voting when polls are historically less busy, often between 9am and 3pm.  (Massachusetts does not permit drive-through voting).  

Are there any new deadlines for filing nomination papers for the Annual Town Election?  No.