Section 89. Any form of written communication evidencing a desire to have an absent voting ballot be sent for use for voting at an election shall be given the same effect as an application made in the form prescribed by the state secretary. No application shall be deemed to be seasonably filed unless it is received in the office of the city or town clerk or registrars of voters before noon on the day preceding the election for which such absent voting ballot is requested; provided, however, that if the day preceding such election is a Sunday or legal holiday, then it shall be received by such clerk or registrars before five o'clock post meridian on the last previous day on which such office is open. An application by a voter admitted to a health care facility after noon of the fifth day before the relevant election, as provided in subsection (c) of section ninety-one B, may be received up until the time the polls close.
The provisions of section eighty-one relative to spoiled ballots shall apply to absent voting ballots; provided, however, that no request for a substitute ballot from a voter who has received his ballot by mail shall be valid unless it is accompanied by the spoiled ballot and received in the office of the city or town clerk or the registrars of voters before noon on the day preceding the election for which such substitute absent voting ballot is requested.
No ballot shall be mailed or delivered, as provided in section ninety-one B, until an application has first been filed and certified by the registrars and returned to the clerk, as provided in section ninety-one. Said application may request an absent voting ballot for each regular or special primary and regular or special election which occurs within the calendar year in which the application is received by the city or town clerk or registrars.
A family member of a person qualified to vote by absent voting ballot may apply in the same manner on behalf of such person. Such applicant shall state his relationship to the absent voter, shall sign the application under the pains and penalties of perjury, and shall transmit the application to the clerk of the city or town of the absent voter's residence.