Town Election Save the Dates: Absentee Ballots, Candidate’s Night, and the big day

The Town Clerk asked me to let residents know that absentee ballots are available for the Town Election. There’s an important date to note  – and you may want to mark some others.

The actual election will take place on Tuesday, May 14th. If you won’t be able to vote in person, you can apply for an absentee ballot. The Town Clerk is advising that applications should be filed by May 3rd. (Scroll down for more details.)

Cropped Sample ballot from 2019 town election
(click to enlarge)

The news came with a sample ballot which shows that no candidates withdrew. That means there is still a 4-way competition for two seats on the Board of Selectmen.

Running this year are:

  • Steven J. David
  • Martin F. Healey
  • Joseph E. Hubley
  • Sam Stivers

So while you may want to apply for a ballot ASAP – I’d wait a beat to cast your votes. You’ll at least want to wait for Candidate’s Night.

The annual Candidates Night will be on Thursday, May 2nd at the Southborough Library. The event begins with a Meet and Greet from 6:30-6:45 pm. After that, you can expect each candidate to make a brief statement, followed by a Q&A. The event is moderated, but questions mainly come from attending residents.

As for the absentee ballots, Town Clerk Jim Hegarty writes:

Absentee Ballots are now available for the Annual Town Election which will be held on Tuesday May 14, 2019 from 6:30am to 8:00pm in the gym of the Trottier Middle School, 49 Parkerville Road Southborough.

Eligibility to Absentee Vote
In order to be eligible to vote by absentee ballot in Massachusetts, a voter must be prevented from voting at their polling place on Election Day, due to:
Absence from the town on Election Day; or
Physical disability; or
Religious belief.

Request an Absentee Ballot for yourself

Unless the voter is completing the Absentee Ballot at the Town Clerk’s office, we’re required to mail the ballot to the voter. The completed ballot can be returned to us by mail or hand delivered to us by the voter or anyone acting on behalf of the voter.

Request an Absentee Ballot for a family member

College Student Problems
Unfortunately, the majority of Absentee Ballots requested for college students are not returned to us for these reasons:

  • The mailing address supplied by the parent is wrong because the student changed their address and the mail didn’t catch up with them at their new address.
  • The student didn’t put ANY postage or not enough postage on the return envelope (it needs postage for 1.5 ounces which is 70 cents). It is OK to put 2 first class stamps on the envelope.
  • The student didn’t mail the ballot to us leaving enough time for the mail to be delivered to us by Election Day. (Realistically – allow a full week for the mail to reach us.)

Timing Reminders
Although the legal deadline for filing applications for Absentee Ballots is noon on May 13, 2019, realistically, if you don’t file the Absentee Ballot application by May 3, there is little chance that the ballot will be returned to us in time to be counted on May 14.

Why does the process take so long?

  • We process the Absentee Ballot application the day we receive it we and bring it to the Post Office that day.
  • It takes at least 3 days for the Absentee Ballot to reach the destination via US Mail.
  • It takes a minimum of 3 days for the voted ballots to be returned to us via US Mail.

Regardless of when the Absentee Ballot is requested or placed in the mail, we must receive the voted ballot before the polls close on Tuesday May 14, 2019.

If anyone has questions, please call me at (509) 485-0710 x 3007.

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