Absentee Voting During the Coronavirus Situation
The Essex County Superior Court approved the Town’s request to postpone the Annual Town Election (originally scheduled for March 24, 2020) due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. The Select Board will consider a new date for the Annual Town Election at an upcoming meeting. Once a new date is set for this election, it will be communicated on the Town’s website, as well as other platforms.
Absentee ballots that have already been submitted will still count, despite the date of the election being changed. A new state law enacted in response to the coronavirus situation allows for absentee voting in town elections for “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.” On March 23, 2020, the Select Board declared a state of emergency in Andover.
To vote absentee, voters must submit an absentee ballot application. Absentee ballot applications can be found below and submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Absentee ballot applications are also available at Andover Town Offices, 36 Bartlet Street, in the ground floor entrance. These applications can be obtained between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Completed applications can be deposited in a secure box located next to the applications. Alternatively, voters can bring the applications home to complete and mail to the Town Clerk’s Office at 36 Bartlet Street.
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 drop box located at 36 Bartlet Street.
Questions can be directed to the Town Clerk’s Office by email or by phone at (978) 623-8230.
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
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 online 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 12:00 noon the day before an election. (A voter who is admitted to a health care facility
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.