Voting in Ashland in the November Election
Sep 29, 2020 10:37AM
By Cynthia Whitty
The Ashland town clerk’s office is preparing for the upcoming Nov. 3 election with early voting-by-mail guidelines provided by the Governor Baker’s signed legislation, Chapter 115 of the Acts of 2020. In addition, town officials are working to ensure safety protocols are in place for in-person early voting at town hall and at the high school on Nov. 3. Town officials are encouraging residents to vote early by mail.
To help residents feel confident about early voting by mail, the town is installing a designated drive-up ballot box outside town hall where residents can safely drop in their voted ballots. “It’s a secure box for residents to use up until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3,” Tara Ward, Ashland’s town clerk, said. “The box can hold a large number of ballots; we will check and empty it often each day.”
Ward wants Ashland residents to understand and feel confident in their voting options. Residents may vote 1) early by mail or by dropping off ballots in the new ballot box (this is encouraged due to COVID-19); 2) early in person at the Ashland town hall (see the times below); or 3) in person on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ashland High School, 65 East Union St.
The early in person voting times at Ashland’s town hall are:
• Saturday, October 17 - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
• Sunday, October 18 - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
• Monday, October 19 - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
• Tuesday, October 20 - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
• Wednesday, October 21 - 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
• Thursday, October 22 - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
• Friday, October 23 - 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
• Saturday, October 24 - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
• Sunday, October 25 - 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
• Monday, October 26 - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
• Tuesday, October 27 - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
• Wednesday, October 28 - 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
• Thursday, October 29 - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
• Friday, October 30 - 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Closed
The town has put COVID-19 protocols in place for in-person voting. Town staff and volunteers will wipe down each voting station in between voters. Voters must wear a face covering and maintain social distancing.
Registering to Vote. The town clerk’s office urges residents to register to vote online with a valid Massachusetts ID using this website, www.sec.state.ma.us/OVR/. The last chance to register to vote in person for the Nov. 3 election is at town hall on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. Note that if you have not returned your 2020 census, you may be required to provide proof of address in order to vote.
Requesting a Ballot. All registered voters opting to vote by mail ballot, must fill out an application and return it to the Ashland town clerk’s office before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Applications can be returned by mail, placed in the new ballot drop box located outside of town hall, or scanned and emailed to [email protected]
The Secretary of State’s Office distributed postcards soliciting voters to request a mail-in ballot the week of July 13. If you did not return your postcard or did not choose the Nov. 3 election, you will receive another postcard in the mail around Sept. 16. These postcards are postage paid and can be returned to the Ashland Town Clerk’s Office.
Dropping Off Your Ballot in Ballot Box. Note, all voted ballots may be placed in the new ballot box outside of town hall. Ensure your signature is on the ballot envelope. Do not fold your ballot in the ballot box. The creases may jam the ballot machines. Ballots may not be returned to the polling location on Nov. 3. They must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office for processing before they are delivered by Town Clerks staff to the polls on Nov. 3.
Tracking Your Ballot. Voters who have applied for a vote by mail ballot may track the status of their application and their ballot (mailed / received back) by visiting www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx.
The town clerk’s office anticipates a large volume of applications (there are over 12,000 voters in Ashland) and requests you allow at least two weeks before checking the status of your application. Allow a minimum of 10 days to receive your ballot from the status date of mailing. Do not contact the Town Clerk’s Office to check on your status until the recommended amount of time has passed. Inquiries should be emailed to [email protected]
For more information, visit www.ashlandmass.com/219/Elections-Voting.