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Mail-in voting information for the City of Boston

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Election

If you are a registered voter in Boston, you can vote by mail in the 2020 Elections.

All Massachusetts registered voters have received a vote-by-mail application in their mailboxes for the State Primary and the State Election. The application is in a postcard format. To vote by mail in the State Election, voters must complete, sign and return the prepaid postcard application to the Boston Election Department by Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

If you never received the application, we have information below about how you can apply.

Massachusetts information

You do not need an excuse to vote by mail this year. The state's website has more information on mail-in voting:

Vote-by-mail details

How to apply

Apply online

Through the state's website, you can apply to vote by mail online:

Vote-by-mail application

DOWNLOAD

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

If you download an application, Mail, email, or fax it to:

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

If you want to drop off your application to our office at City Hall, use the Election Department dropbox located on the third floor. City Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

DEADLINE

Applications to request a vote-by-mail ballot must be received by Wednesday, October 28, for the State Election on Tuesday, November 3.

Tracking your ballot

Massachusetts voters can track their ballot request, whether requested by mail or online, through the state's website. We will start mailing out ballots by early October. We will continue to mail ballots as applications arrive, until the application deadline of October 28, 2020

Complete your ballot

Mail your ballot right away

We will start mailing out ballots by early October and will continue to mail ballots as applications arrive, until the application deadline of October 28, 2020. 

You can mail the ballot to the address on the envelope. Please submit your completed ballot as soon as possible. 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 dropboxes across the City, including two at Boston City Hall. 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. You can view a list of dropbox locations and a map below.

You 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.

Food resources map

Map of dropbox locations

You can drop your mail-in ballot off at any City of Boston dropbox up until 8 p.m. on November 3, or at any early voting location during the early voting period.
Show Map

List of ballot dropbox locations

Dropbox list
Location Neighborhood Date and time

Jackson Mann School Auditorium

500 Cambridge Street, Allston, MA 02134

Allston/ Brighton

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Honan - Allston Branch Library (Community Room)

300 North Harvard Street, Allston, MA 02134

Allston/ Brighton

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Copley Square Library (McKim Building)

700 Boylston Street, Back Bay, MA 02116

Back Bay/ Bay Village

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Harvard/Kent School Gymnasium

50 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA 02129

Charlestown

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Josiah Quincy School

885 Washington Street, Chinatown, MA 02111

Chinatown-Leather District

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Richard J. Murphy School Cafeteria

1 Worrell Street, Dorchester, MA 02122

Dorchester

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Perkins Community Center/ Lee School Gymnasium

155 Talbot Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02124

Dorchester

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center

650 Dudley Street, Dorchester, MA 02125

Dorchester

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Boston City Hall

1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201

Downtown

Monday, October 19: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday, October 20: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Wednesday, October 21: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 22: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday, October 23: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Monday, October 26: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday, October 27: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Wednesday, October 28: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday, October 29: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday, October 30: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Paris Street Gymnasium

112 Paris Street, East Boston, MA 02128

East Boston

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Fenway Park

4 Jersey Street, Fenway-Kemore, MA 02215

Fenway

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Another Course to College Cafeteria

612 Metropolitan Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136

Hyde Park

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Margarita Muniz Academy Gymnasium

20 Child Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Jamaica Plain

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Mildred Ave School Gymnasium

5 Mildred Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126

Mattapan

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saint Nectarios Greek Church Banquet Hall

39 Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale, MA 02131

Roslindale

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Thelma Burns Building

575 Warren Street, Roxbury, MA 02121

Roxbury

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Dewitt Center

122 Dewitt Drive, Roxbury, MA 02120

Roxbury

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Shelbourne Center Gymnasium

2730 Washington Street, Roxbury, MA 02119

Roxbury

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

District Hall

75 Northern Avenue, South Boston MA 02210

South Boston

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

James F. Condon School Cafeteria

200 D Street, South Boston, MA 02127

South Boston

Saturday, October 24: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 25: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Roche Community Center Gymnasium

1716 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132

West Roxbury

Saturday, October 17: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, October 18: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Location Neighborhood Hours

Honan-Allston Branch Library

300 North Harvard Street, Allston, MA 02134

Allston/ Brighton

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Brighton Branch Library

40 Academy Hill Road, Brighton, MA 02135

Allston/ Brighton

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Central Library at Copley Square

700 Boylston Street, Back Bay, MA 02116

Back Bay/ Bay Village

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Charlestown Branch Library

179 Main Street, Charlestown, MA 02129

Charlestown

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Fields Corner Library

1520 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02122

Dorchester

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Grove Hall Branch Library

41 Geneva Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02121

Dorchester

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Boston City Hall

1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201

Downtown

Available seven days a week through 8 p.m. on November 3.

Two dropboxes available, one at the Congress Street entrance and one at the City Hall Plaza entrance. The dropbox at the City Hall Plaza entrance is currently available.

East Boston Branch Library

365 Bremen Street, East Boston, MA 02128

East Boston

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Hyde Park Branch Library

35 Harvard Avenue, Hyde Park, MA 02136

Hyde Park

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Jamaica Plain Branch Library

30 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

Jamaica Plain

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Mattapan Branch Library

1350 Blue Hill Avenue, Mattapan, MA 02126

Mattapan

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

BCYF Menino

125 Brookway Road, Roslindale, MA 02131

Roslindale

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Roxbury Branch Library

149 Dudley Street, Roxbury, MA 02119

Roxbury

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

Parker Hill Branch Library

1497 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA 02120

Roxbury

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

South Boston Branch Library

646 East Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127

South Boston

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

West Roxbury Branch Library

1961 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132

West Roxbury

The dropbox will be available seven days a week up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3.

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 2020 State Primaries and the General Election. The Boston Election Department would like to reassure voters that in-person voting will remain an option for all 255 precincts.

Covid-19 Precautions for In-Person Voting

We are in the process of recruiting about 1800 poll workers to serve on Election Day. All poll workers are required to attend a 2.5-hour training on election laws and procedures. This year's poll worker training will include COVID-19 Protocols on social distancing, sanitizing procedures, and the proper use of personal protective equipment .

Early Voting

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

  • General Election: Saturday, October 17, through Friday, October 30

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 Election is October 24. 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 by the tenth day before the election, your application can be submitted with your registration form. For the November 3 State Election, that date is Saturday, October 24.

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 online, or by mailing a paper application, you can request that your ballot is sent to your new address.

How do I vote by mail?

If you are a registered Boston voter, submit a 2020 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

You can also apply online through the state's mail-in ballot application system. You will then be mailed a ballot to vote and return.

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?

Applications can be submitted online through the state's mail-in ballot application system. If you prefer to apply by mail, 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 your local election office, or
  2. sign your name using a mouse, stylus, or finger and then send that saved application to your local election office.

Typed signatures are not acceptable. Alternatively, you may submit your application online through the state's mail-in ballot application system.

Can I fax my application?

Yes. If you have access to a fax machine, you can fax your application to our office: 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. Alternatively, you may submit your application online via the state's mail-in ballot application system.

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 and 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 is 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 have dropboxes 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 and pre-stamped for your convenience. If you don't want to mail your ballot, you can drop if off at any of the dropboxes located across the City of Boston through 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020, as well as at an early voting location during the early voting period. You may also return your ballot to City Hall, which is currently open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

When do I need to return my ballot?

For the State Election, if you're mailing your ballot, it needs to be postmarked by November 3 and it must reach us by November 6. If you're hand-delivering your State Election ballot to us or dropping it in a drop-box, it needs to be returned by 8 p.m. on November 3.

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?

For the State Election, ballots mailed from inside the country must be postmarked by November 3 and arrive by November 6 to be counted. If you mail your ballot from outside the country, it has until November 13 to arrive, but it must still be postmarked by Election Day. 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. Your local election official 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.