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Voting in the 2020 Elections

In order to provide increased voting options in response to COVID-19, early voting is available to all voters for the State/Presidential Election, November 3rd. Early voting is available by mail and in person to all registered voters and no excuse is required.

Jump to: Vote by Mail | Early Voting in Person | Voting on Election Day Voter Registration


Keep in Touch with the Latest City Information


Visit www.MailMyBallotMA.com to apply online!

Voting by mail is available to all voters for all elections in 2020. You do not need an excuse to vote by mail this year.

To vote by mail, all you need to do is:

1. Complete a vote by mail application

  • If you use the paper application, make sure the application is signed. You may sign by hand, or electronically by mouse, stylus, or finger. Typed names are not acceptable signatures.

2. Deliver your Application to the Cambridge Election Commission by email, mail or fax or submit your application through the Mail-in Ballot Application System

  • Email: elections@cambridgema.gov
  • Mail: Cambridge Election Commission, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
  • Fax: 617-349-4366

The U.S. Postal Service recommends submitting this application no later than October 20th to ensure the timely delivery of your ballot. A ballot cannot be mailed to you if your application reaches your local election office after 5 p.m. on October 28th.

3. Vote when your ballot arrives

  • The Election Commission office began mailing ballots on October 5th. Due to the volume it may take some time for all of the ballots to be mailed.
  • After voting your ballot, place it in the inner envelope and sign the envelope.

4. Return your ballot to the Cambridge Election Commission

  • Mail: the envelopes will be addressed and postage is provided!
  • In-person/Drop-Box: Information about official ballot drop box locations is below.
  • Early Voting Locations: Ballots may also be returned at designated Early Voting locations during early voting hours between October 17th and October 30th. Click here for Early Voting Times and Locations

Ballots sent by mail must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 3rd and must arrive at the Cambridge Election Commission office by Friday, November 6th at 5 pm. Ballots delivered by hand or by drop box must be delivered by 8 pm on Tuesday, November 3rd.

Official Ballot Drop Box Locations:

Official ballot drop boxes will be available at the following six (6) locations for Cambridge voters beginning Friday, October 9 through Tuesday, November 3 at 8 p.m.:

  • City Hall - Near the back door of the building located at 795 Massachusetts Avenue

  • Morse School - Near the front entrance of the building located at 40 Granite Street

  • Cambridge Police Headquarters - Left-side of the front of the building located at 125 6th Street*
    • *Please be advised due to sidewalk construction the drop box located at the Police Headquarters has been moved from the right-side of the front entrance to the left-side of the front entrance. 

  • Maria L. Baldwin School - Right-side of the Oxford Street entrance of the building located at 28 Sacramento Street

  • O’Neill Library - Adjacent to the entrance stairs of the building located at 70 Rindge Avenue

  • Coffon Building - Right-side of the front of the building located at 51 Inman Street

View Map of Ballot Drop Box Locations

Visit www.TrackMyBallotMA.com to track your ballot!

Early Voting in Person 

Early Voting Locations, Hours and Days for the State/Presidential Election

  • Longfellow Community School - 359 Broadway, Rear Entrance near Antrim Street
  • Cambridge Water Department - 250 Fresh Pond Parkway
  • Valente Library - 826 Cambridge Street, Side Entrance on Berkshire Street

View Map of Early Voting Locations

The Election Commission office located 51 Inman Street will NOT be an early voting location for the State/Presidential Election, November 3rd. Voters must go to one of the designated early voting locations listed above.

Saturday, October 17th 9am - 3pm
Sunday, October 18th 9am - 3pm
Monday, October 19th 9:30am - 5pm
Tuesday, October 20th 9:30am - 5pm
Wednesday, October 21st 9:30am - 5pm
Thursday, October 22nd 9:30am - 5pm
Friday, October 23rd 9:30am - 5pm
Saturday, October 24th 1pm - 7pm
Sunday, October 25th  9am - 3pm
Monday, October 26th 9:30am - 5pm
Tuesday, October 27th 9:30am - 5pm
Wednesday, October 28th 9:30am - 5pm
Thursday, October 29th 9:30am - 5pm
Friday, October 30th 9:30am - 5pm

The in-person Early Voting Period for the November 3rd State/Presidential Election is Saturday, October 17th through Friday, October 30th.

Voting in Person on Election Day

Voting on Election Day will still be available for those who may want to vote at the polls. Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day. You must vote at your assigned polling location. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some polling sites like those in high-risk facilities were temporarily relocated for the upcoming 2020 State/Presidential Election.  

Find Your Polling Place

View Interactive Polling Place Map

Download Polling Place PDF

Your temporary location will be in the same ward and precinct or near your regular polling place to provide voter convenience and to minimize voter confusion. Voters will receive an Early Voting Guide and a Voter Notification Card. Both will have information pertaining to any relocated polling places and other important election related information. Signage will also be posted to help voters find their temporary polling sites.

Voters should wear a face mask or covering in the early voting locations and on Election Day at the polling sites and adhere to social distancing requirements to help mitigate public health risks. In addition, hand sanitizer will be available for use by voters upon entering and exiting the voting area. We encourage all our citizens to exercise their right to and take advantage of the voting options available.

Voter Registration

Find your registration status

Voter Registration

The deadline for the State/Presidential Election on November 3rd is Saturday, October 24th at 8 p.m., and the Election Commission will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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.

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 from the Secretary of State's Website at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm

Fill the form out completely and sign at the bottom; otherwise it will be rejected and sent back to the applicant.

Mail (DO NOT FAX OR EMAIL) the Voter Registration form to:

Cambridge Election Commission
51 Inman Street, 1st floor
Cambridge, MA 02139

Registering in person:

If you would like to register in-person, you may do so by making an appointment at the Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street. The deadline for the State/Presidential Election on November 3rd is Saturday, October 24th at 8 p.m., and the Election Commission will be open from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Who can I contact if I need help or have questions?

You can contact the Cambridge Election Commission by phone or email:

What is the difference between absentee voting and early voting?

Early voting is a process by which a registered voter can vote before Election Day during a designated period. Voters can vote early by mail or in-person and the ballot will be cast on Election Day. 

Early voting is different from absentee voting because you do not need an excuse or reason to vote early!  It is not available for all elections so please check our early voting site for information about upcoming elections.

Who can vote by absentee Ballot?

You can vote by absentee Ballot if any of the following applies:

  • You will be absent from Cambridge on election day during polling hours;
  • You have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polling place;
  • You cannot vote at the polls due to religious belief. 

Any voter taking precautions relating to COVID-19 shall be deemed to qualify for an absentee ballot by reason of disability for any election held on or before December 31, 2020.

How do I vote absentee by mail?

To vote absentee by mail, you first have to apply for an Absentee Ballot.  You can do this by either filling out the application form below or by sending a signed request to the Election Office that includes:

  • Your name;
  • The address where you are registered to vote;
  • The address where you want the ballot to be sent;
  • The election(s) for which you need an Absentee Ballot.

If you are an unenrolled voter seeking to vote in a primary, you must indicate the party ballot that you prefer.

A family member of a person qualified to vote by Absentee Ballot may apply for that person.  In addition to the above information, family members must also include their name and relationship to the voter.

Click here for absentee ballot application  

Do I need to be registered to vote to get an Absentee Ballot?

Yes, unless you are a “specially qualified voter” you must be registered to vote to apply for an Absentee Ballot.

A specially qualified voter is a person:

  • who is otherwise eligible to register as a voter and
  • whose present domicile is outside the United States and whose last domicile in the United States was Massachusetts or whose present domicile is Massachusetts and who is:
    (a) absent from the city or town of residence and in the active service of the armed forces or in the merchant marine of the United States or a spouse or dependent of such person;
    (b) absent from the commonwealth; or
    (c) confined in a correctional facility or a jail, except if by reason of felony conviction.

What is the deadline for applying to vote absentee?

By Mail:

  • You can apply any time within the calendar year until 5 pm on the 4th business day before the election. 
  • Make sure to apply with enough time to get the ballot and mail it back by Election day
  • If you are going to vote absentee in more than one election, you can apply for all elections within a calendar year with one application

Over-the-Counter at the Election Commission Office:

  • You can apply any time until noon on the day before the election. If the day before the election is a holiday, the deadline is 5 p.m. on the last business day that the office is open. 
  • You can go to the Election Commission office and apply at the same time as you vote. 
  • If you go to the Election Commission during the Early Voting Period, you will be able to vote early without requiring an absentee application. 

What is the deadline for mailing back the ballot?

The Election Office must receive your ballot by the close of polls on Election Day.  In a general election, an Absentee Ballot that has been mailed from outside the United States on or before Election Day must be counted if the Election Office receives it on or before the tenth day after the election.

How do I vote absentee in person?

Absentee Ballots are available for over-the-counter voting at the Cambridge Election Office at least twenty days before each election. Please call the Election Commission Office at 617-349-4361 to find out if Absentee Ballots are available. 

What voting accommodations are available for people with disabilities?

If you are permanently disabled, you may apply to vote from home.  Send a letter to the Election Office from your doctor, stating that you are permanently unable to cast your ballot at the polling place due to a physical disability. The Election Office will automatically mail you an application for an Absentee Ballot for all elections in a calendar year. You must sign the application and send it back.

What voting accommodations are available for people in hospitals/healthcare facilities?

A person who has been admitted to a hospital or other health care facility after twelve o'clock noon of the 7th day before a primary/election can request an absentee ballot up until the close of polls on Election Day. The ballot can be delivered by an election official or the voter can designate a person to deliver the ballot in person and then return it to the Election Commission. 

How do I become an election worker?

UPDATE: All positions for the November 3, 2020 election have been filled. If you have applied and you have not heard back, we are holding on to your application and may contact you for an interview if there is an opening. 

Page was posted on 3/18/2020 6:52 PM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 12:26 AM
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