Absentee Voting

Absentee Voting

Absentee voting is different from Early Voting in important ways. Absentee voting is available to qualified absentee voters for any election, not just "Early Voting elections." Mailed absentee ballots may be returned to the Town Clerk’s Office by mail or by the voter or by anyone else on behalf of the voter. Unlike Early Voting which is available to any voter, absentee voting is only available in certain limited circumstances. Voters who are unable to vote on election day because of physical disability, religious beliefs or travel may vote by absentee ballot.

State law limits the availability of absentee ballots to the three listed circumstances only. Absentee ballots are not available for mere convenience, or because of ordinary commuting-related difficulties. If you will be absent from Andover for an extended period of time, you may submit a single application for all elections occurring within the year the application is accepted.

Obtaining an Application for an Absentee Ballot

Applications for absentee ballots may be obtained from the Town Clerk or the Office of the Secretary of State. Applications may be submitted in person or by mail. The voter, or a family member (father, mother, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandparent, grandchild, a spouse or person residing in the same household, in-laws, adopting parent or adopted child, stepparent or stepchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew), may submit an application. All applications must be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury by the voter, or a family member, before a ballot will be made available. State law requires that we must have a signature of the applicant on file with the request.

In a primary election, a voter who is not registered in a political party must specify the ballot of the party of choice in the application. You will not become registered in a political party because of your participation in a state primary.

Fill out the absentee ballot application - it can be used for any state or local election.

Returning the Application for an Absentee Ballot

Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the Town Clerk before 5:00pm on the fourth business day before an election. (A voter who is admitted to a health care facility after noon of the fifth day before an election may apply for a ballot up until the close of the polls and may request to have the ballot delivered.) Absentee ballots generally are available several weeks before an election.

If the voter submits the application in person, he may obtain the ballot and vote over-the-counter (check with the office to see if the ballots are available). If the ballot is not available, it will be sent to the voter by mail. When the application is submitted in person by a family member, the ballot must be sent by mail to the voter. In all other cases, the ballot is sent by mail.

A list of all voters who obtained absentee ballots is sent to the poll locations to prevent an absentee voter from voting a second time.