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Early Voting by Mail

Cambridge voters have the option to vote early by mail in all elections, with no excuse required.

In addition to no-excuse early voting by mail, Massachusetts has absentee voting for those who qualify. While early Vote by Mail ballots are more common, there are special circumstances where you need to apply for an absentee ballot instead. Please click here if you are a military or overseas voter, a voter who is incarcerated, or a voter who was admitted to the hospital within one week of of the election. 

Step One: Apply for a ballot

Apply Online Here

Ballots are not sent to voters automatically - you need to submit a request through the online portal or in writing. In years where there is more than one election, you can use one application to request ballots for the entire calendar year. If you plan to vote by mail every year, you will need to submit a new application each calendar year. The deadline to request a ballot is the 5th business day before the election, but the Election Commission recommends requesting a ballot as early as possible to allow time for the ballot to be mailed and returned before Election Day.

  • The deadline to request a ballot for the September 3, 2024 State Primary is Monday, August 26, 2024 at 5 p.m.
  • The deadline to request a ballot for the November 5, 2024 State/Presidential Election is Tuesday, October 29, 2024 at 5 p.m.

You can request a ballot by filling out the vote by mail application or by sending a signed request to the Election Commission Office that includes:

  • Your name;
  • The address where you are registered to vote;
  • The address where you want the ballot to be sent;
  • Which election(s) you would like (for years with more than election);
  • For primaries only: If you are not registered in a party, you must include which party's ballot you would like to receive;

Deliver your application to the Cambridge Election Commission by email, mail or fax:

Applications can be submitted by mail, email, or fax. If you’re emailing your application, you need to sign it in a way that can be compared to your hand-written signature. Electronic signatures, scanned applications, and photos of applications are acceptable. Typed signatures cannot be accepted.

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

Accessible Vote by Mail

If you are blind or have a vision impairment, have a mobility or dexterity disability, or have another disability that makes it difficult for you to mark a paper ballot, you can request an accessible vote by mail ballot. You must include in your application or letter a statement saying that you need to use an accessible vote by mail ballot as an accommodation due to a disability that prevents you from marking a paper ballot. To access the accessible vote by mail system, you must provide an email address. You can apply for an accessible vote by mail ballot using the online portal or the PDF form.

Step Two: Vote when your ballot arrives

The Election Commission office will begin mailing ballots approximately one month before the election. Due to the volume it may take some time for all ballots to be mailed. 

After voting your ballot, place it in the inner envelope, sign the envelope, and seal it. If you make a mistake on your ballot, please call the Election Commission office at 617-349-4361 or email elections@cambridgema.gov for further instructions. 

Step Three: Return your ballot

For the 2024 Presidential Primary, ballots must be returned by the close of polls (8 p.m.) on Election Day. 

Options for returning your ballot:

1. Return your ballot by mail in the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope. If possible, the Election Commission recommends mailing your ballot one week before the election to ensure timely delivery.

2. Return your ballot in person at the Cambridge Election Commission office at 51 Inman Street during regular office hours: Mondays 8:30 am - 8:00 pm; Tuesdays through Thursdays 8:30 am - 5:00 pm; Fridays 8:30 am - 12:00 Noon.

You may also return your ballot in-person to an election official at a designated early voting location during early voting hours.

3. Return your ballot to an official ballot drop box. Only the main drop box located at 51 Inman Street will be open on Election Day. Satellite drop boxes will be closed at 8 p.m.. the day before the Election. For the 2024 State Primary, all drop boxes will open starting on Friday, August 9th and will be open 24 hours a day. 

  • Main Ballot Drop Box: Open from Friday, August 9, 2024 to Election Day, Tuesday, September 3, 2024 at 8 p.m.
    • Coffon Building - Right-side of the building located at 51 Inman St
  • Satellite Drop Box Locations: Open from Friday, August 9, 2024 to Monday, September 2, 2024 at 8 p.m. 
    • City Hall - Near the back door of the building located at 795 Massachusetts Ave
    • Morse School - Near the front entrance of the building location at 40 Granite St
    • Cambridge Police Headquarters - Near the front of the building located at 125 6th St
    • Maria L. Baldwin School - Right-side of the Oxford Street entrance of the building located at 85 Oxford Street
    • O'Neill Library - Adjacent to the entrance stairs of the building located at 70 Rindge Ave

View Map of Drop Box and Early Voting Locations

Ballots cannot be dropped off at the polling place on Election Day. 

Track your ballot at www.trackmyballotma.com

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