Voting During the September 1, 2020 State Primary Election
The State Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, September 1st, 2020.
Voters will have several options for casting a ballot. Voters may, based on eligibility under state law, vote in one of the following ways:
- In-Person on Election Day (September 1st) at a polling location
- In-Person during the Early Voting Period
- By Mail
The following summarizes the current and, in many instances, recently-altered state law governing elections. This information will be updated as regulations are promulgated by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Voter Registration Deadline:
The Board of Registrars of Voters will hold extended hours on Saturday, August 22nd from 12:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Town Offices, 36 Bartlet Street, Andover for the purpose of registering new voters and for change of party enrollment. Voter registration forms and a secure deposit box will be available in the first floor entrance of the Town Offices.
Residents may also register online by visiting: www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. All residents need to apply online is a license or an I.D. issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, subject to the August 22nd deadline. Additionally, mail-in voter registration forms or change of party forms must be postmarked by the August 22nd deadline.
Voters can check their voter registration status on the Secretary of State’s web site at www.sec.state.ma.us or by calling the Town Clerk’s Office at (978) 623-8230.
1. In-Person Voting on Election Day
Polling hours are from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
Precincts 1 and 3, which have in past elections voted at the Senior Center, will vote at the Youth Center on Whittier Court. This change in polling location is due to the renovation project underway at the Senior Center. Precincts 4, 5 and 6 will vote at the Wood Hill Middle School. Precincts 2, 7 (including sub-precinct 7A), 8 and 9 will vote at the Andover High School Richard J. Collins Field House at 80 Shawsheen Road.
Residents can search their precinct by visiting: www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/
In response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Town is taking a number of steps to protect the safety of our election officers and voters. These steps include the following:
- Voters and election officers who are sick or concerned that that they may have contracted the virus should not appear at a polling place on Election Day. Eligibility for mail-in voting has been expanded (see below).
- On Election Day, voters are encouraged to vote at off-peak times (i.e., between the morning rush, lunchtime, and the evening rush).
- Voters are strongly urged to wear face masks when in the polling places. A number of extra masks will be available to voters who do not have their own.
- When completing a ballot, voters will be allowed to use their own blue and black pens and markers. Further, voters who do not bring their own writing utensils will be provided with writing utensils that will be used only once.
- The Town will provide hand sanitizer to voters and election officers.
- Every election officer will be supplied by the Town with face masks and latex gloves.
- Every check-in table will have plexiglass barriers to separate election workers from voters.
- At all polling locations, the voting booths and check-in stations will be spaced-out to provide a less dense precinct arrangement. This enhanced distancing means that each precinct will occupy a 3,600 square foot area.
- The voting booths, check-in tables, and ballot boxes will be regularly cleaned throughout Election Day.
- The Town will monitor the number of voters allowed into the polling places at any single time.
2. In-Person Early Voting
In-person Early Voting will be available between Saturday, August 22nd and Friday, August 28th (including Sunday, August 23rd). Unlike in past elections where Early Voting occurred at the Town Offices, Early Voting will be available at the Andover High School Richard J. Collins Field House at 80 Shawsheen Road. All precincts can vote Early at this location.
|Saturday, August 22nd||11:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Sunday, August 23rd||11:00 AM – 4:00 PM|
|Monday, August 24th||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Tuesday, August 25th||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Wednesday, August 26th||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Thursday, August 27th||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
|Friday, August 28th||8:30 AM – 4:30 PM|
3. Mail-In Early Voting
Any registered voter can vote Early by mail without the kind of justification needed for absentee voting.
To vote Early by mail, voters need to (1) request a ballot by submitting an application, (2) receive the ballot from the Town Clerk’s Office, and (3) return the completed ballot to the Town Clerk’s Office.
Vote by Mail applications can be found here and submitted by email to email@example.com. Electronically-submitted applications must have handwritten signatures. These applications are also available at the Andover Town Offices, 36 Bartlet Street, in the ground floor entrance between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Completed applications can be deposited in the secure box located at the Town Offices or mailed to the Town Clerk’s Office at 36 Bartlet Street.
The last day and hour to submit a mail-in Early Voting ballot application is 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 26th.
After receiving completed applications, the Town Clerk’s Office will mail voters an Early Voting ballot with a pre-paid postage return envelope. Then, voters should return their completed ballots by mailing them to the Town Clerk’s Office at 36 Bartlet Street or by dropping them into the Town’s secure drop box located at 36 Bartlet Street. Mail-in Early Voting ballots must be received by the Town Clerk’s Office at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, September 1st (Election Day). Voters cannot directly submit their ballots to polling locations during the in-person Early Voting period or on Election Day.
Because of the expansive rules allowing mail-in Early Voting, most voters should vote Early by mail and not vote absentee. Absentee voting should primarily be utilized by military and other overseas voters, voters who have been admitted to a healthcare facility or who need to self-quarantine within a week of the election, or voters who need a family member to request a mail-in ballot on their behalf.
Electronically-submitted applications must have handwritten signatures. These applications are also available at the Andover Town Offices, 36 Bartlet Street, in the ground floor entrance between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Completed applications can be deposited in the secure box located at the Town Offices or mailed to the Town Clerk’s Office at 36 Bartlet Street.
The last day and hour to request by mail an absentee ballot is 5:00 PM on Wednesday, August 26th.
After receiving completed applications, the Town Clerk’s Office will mail voters an absentee ballot. Then, voters should return their completed absentee ballots by mailing them to the Town Clerk’s Office at 36 Bartlet Street or by dropping them into the Town’s secure drop box located at 36 Bartlet Street. Absentee ballots must be received by the Town Clerk’s Office at 8:00 PM on Tuesday, September 1st (Election Day). Voters cannot directly submit their ballots to polling locations on Election Day.
Questions can be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office by email or by phone at (978) 623-8230.