Election & Voter Information

Vote-ButtonThe polls are open in Shrewsbury from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day for all elections.

If you will not be able to vote on election day and wish to do so, you must apply for an absentee ballot  before noon the day before the election.

In a primary election, a voter who is registered in a political party is restricted to the ballot for the party in which the voter is registered. The "unenrolled" voter (independent) may choose a ballot for any party participating in the primary election without changing the voter's "unenrolled" status.

If you are disabled and need assistance, you may have someone accompany you who can provide the needed assistance. Assistance may also be requested from election workers.

Voter Registration

You may submit an application to register or pre-register to vote in Massachusetts if:

  •  You are a citizen of the United States; and
  • You are 16 years old; and
  • You are not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.

If you meet the above requirements, you may apply online, by mail, or in-person.

 The deadline to register to vote in any election or is ten (10) days prior to the date of the election. 

If you are a new citizen who was naturalized after the last day to register to vote, you may register to vote in person at your local election office until 4 p.m. on the day before the election. You must bring documentation to show that your naturalization ceremony occurred after the voter registration deadline.

To register to vote an individual must be a United States Citizen who will be 18 years old by the date of the next election. Registration closes 10 days prior to each election. 

Registering Online:

In order to register to vote online, you must have a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you currently have a Massachusetts driver's license or state ID card, you may use the online voter registration application to register, update your address, or change your party affiliation. Voter registration forms submitted online must be submitted by midnight on the date of the voter registration deadline.

 Click the buttons below for each online service. 

Register or Pre-Register to Vote

Update Adress or Party

Update Name

Check Registration Information

Registering by Mail: 

If you do not qualify to register to vote online, or if you would prefer to register by mail, you may download the voter registration form. The form must be completed, signed, and delivered to the Town Clerk's Office. Voter registration forms submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than the voter registration deadline.

Registering in Person:

If you would like to register in-person, you may do so at the Town Clerk's Office as well as the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. Voter registration is also available at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and at certain public assistance agencies. Voter registration forms completed in-person are valid as of the day that they are signed.

Automatic Voter Registration:

If you are a U.S. citizen applying for or renewing a driver's license or state ID at the RMV, or applying for health insurance through MassHealth or the Commonwealth Health Connector, you will be automatically registered to vote, unless you opt out of registering.

If you opt out of registering to vote, or if your citizenship has not been confirmed by the RMV, MassHealth, or the Health Connector, you will not be registered to vote. If you do not opt out and your citizenship is confirmed, your name, address, and date of birth will be sent to your local election official to be added to the voter list and you will receive mailed confirmation of your registration within 2-3 weeks.

Learn more about automatic voter registration.

Changing Your Address:

You must update your voter registration every time you move. If you have moved, you may update your registration by filling out a new voter registration form in your new community or updating your address online. If you move after the deadline to register to vote in a state election or primary, you should wait to update your registration until after the date of the election or primary, and return to vote at your previous polling place in Massachusetts. State law allows you to vote from a previous address in a state election for up to six month after you have moved, as long as you have not registered elsewhere. If you move within town, you may also update this information online, or fill out the change of address form and submit to the Town Clerk's Office, or submit the change in person at the Town Clerk's Office. 

Changing Your Political Party:

If you wish to change your party enrollment, you may do so online or by filling out a change of party form in person at the Town Clerks Office. Members of political parties may vote only in their own party's primary elections. Unenrolled voters (commonly referred to as "Independents") and members of political designations or minor parties may vote in the party primary of their choice. Choosing to vote in a particular party's primary does NOT enroll you as a member of that party.

A full list of political parties and designations may be found here.

Identification Requirements: 

Certain voters must submit a copy of their identification with their voter registration or present it at their polling place on Election Day. For more information on identification requirements, please see the Secretary of State's page on Identification Requirements.

Pre-Registering to Vote:

Though you must be 18 years old in order to vote, you may pre-register to vote once you are 16 years old. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may submit a voter registration form to the Town Clerk's Office, who will then place your name on the list of pre-registrants. You will receive a pre-registration notice by mail, confirming receipt of your application. Pre-registration may be done online, by mail, or in person at any voter registration location (see above).

Once you become old enough to vote, your local election will mail you an acknowledgement notice, which is confirmation that your name has been moved from the list of pre-registrants to the list of registered voters. Your acknowledgement notice will include your party affiliation and the location of your polling place.

It is important to keep your local election official informed of any changes to your information. You must submit a new voter registration form if you wish to change your name, address, mailing address, or political affiliation.

Prohibited Activities:

State law prohibits the display of political paraphernalia within 150 feet of the entrance to the polling location. Signs, stickers, and lapel buttons are not permitted within this restricted zone. State regulations also prohibit political solicitation within the restricted zone. Prohibited activities are detailed in Chapter 54 Section 65.

More info: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Election-Advisory-20-12-Electioneering-and-the-150-ft-Rule.pdf 

Absentee Ballots:

Voting by Mail

To apply to vote absentee by mail, complete the Absentee Ballot Application and submit it to the Town Clerk's Office. Voters may request to vote in person at the town clerk's office prior to Election Day or request a ballot be mailed to the address designated by the voter on the application. 

Make sure to apply as early as possible. The U.S. Postal Service recommends allowing up to 7 days for ballot delivery in each direction, so it is best to apply at least 2 weeks before Election Day, or earlier if your ballot is being mailed out of town.

Absentee Ballot Eligibility

To qualify for an absentee ballot, you must:

  1. Be away from your city/town on Election Day; or
  2. Have a disability* that keeps you from voting at your polling place; or
  3. Have a religious belief that prevents you from voting at your polling place on Election Day

*A voter who will be unable to cast their vote in person at a polling place by reason of permanent physical disability may file once with the Town Clerk a certificate executed by a registered physician who is personally acquainted with the voter and aware of their permanent physical disability, stating that it is reasonably certain because of permanent physical disability that the voter will be unable to cast their vote in person at the polling place on the day of the election.

A voter who is permanently disabled and files a physician’s certificate with the Town Clerk shall be maintained on a Permanently Disabled Voter (PDV) List, and the voter will not be required to file another certificate with their future Absentee Ballot applications.

The Town Clerk will mail to all permanently disabled voters a completed Absentee Ballot Application at least 28 days before an election. The Voter must complete sections 4, 8, and 9, and section 10, if applicable, and return the signed AV form to the Town Clerk allowing reasonable lead time for the Clerk to mail the ballot to the Voter and for the Voter to return the ballot to the Town Clerk, which must be received no later than 8:00 p.m. on the day of the election.

Absentee Voting Rules

  1. The deadline to apply for a ballot is noon the day before election but please allow time for the ballot to be mailed if not voting in person.
  2. Ballots cannot be hand carried from the town clerk's office.
  3. Voted ballots may be returned by mail or may be hand delivered to the town clerk by the voter or a family member. A ballot box will also be located in the front of Town Hall. 
  4. Absentee ballots must be received in the town clerk's office by the close of polls on election day.
  5. Absentee Voter Application

Applying for an Absentee Ballot

Absentee ballots must be requested in writing at least 4 business days before Election Day. Applications are available for download, but any written request is acceptable if it has your signature on it. For absentee ballots, a member of your family may also make the request on your behalf.

Applications can be submitted by mail, email, or fax. If you are emailing your application, you may either scan or take a photo of your signed application and email it to clerk@shrewsburyma.gov. Typed or e-signatures signatures are not acceptable.

If you are not able to print the application, you may request that one be mailed to you or you may write a letter to the Town Clerk's Office requesting your ballot. Make sure to include your name, your address, the place you would like the ballot mailed, and your signature. If you are requesting a primary ballot and you are unenrolled (independent), be sure to indicate which party's ballot you want to have mailed to you. Remember to request the application with plenty of time to mail it back before the deadline to apply for your ballot.

Voting in Person (Absentee)

Absentee voting can also be done in person, at the counter at the Town Clerk's Office.

Emergency Absentee Ballots

If you have been admitted to a healthcare facility within 1 week of the election, you may use the absentee ballot application to designate someone of your choice to deliver a ballot to you.

The person you designate to deliver your ballot will need to bring the signed application to your local election office, pick up your absentee ballot, bring it to you, and return it for you by the close of polls on Election Day. Emergency ballots may be requested up until the close of polls.

Returning your Absentee Ballot

Ballots may be returned by mail or in person to the Town Clerk's Office. There is also a ballot box in the front of Town Hall at 100 Maple Ave. This ballot box will be locked at the close of the polls and ballots will not be accepted after that time. Ballots must reach the office by the close of polls on Election Day in order to be counted.

Track your ballot: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/track/trackmyballot.aspx

Please call the Town Clerk's Office at 508-841-8507 if you have any questions.

Referenced Election Documents