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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 89: Applications; seasonably filed; spoiled ballots; application by family member

[ Section impacted by 2020, 45, Secs. 1 and 1A, as amended by 2020, 92, Secs. 1 to 3, effective March 23, 2020 and 2020, 92 Secs. 15 to 17 effective June 5, 2020 relating to postponing municipal elections in order to address disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.]

[ Section impacted by 2020, 115, Sec. 16 effective July 6, 2020 relating to early and absentee ballots in order to address disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.]

[ First paragraph effective until July 6, 2020. For text effective July 6, 2020, see below.]

  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.

[ First paragraph as amended by 2020, 115, Sec. 3 effective July 6, 2020. For text effective until July 6, 2020, see above.]

  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 for an absent voting ballot to be sent by mail shall be deemed to be seasonably filed unless it is received in the office of the city or town clerk or registrars of voters on or before the fourth business day preceding the election for which the ballot is being requested. No application for an absent voting ballot to be voted in person shall be deemed to be seasonably filed unless it is received in the office of the city or town clerk or registrars of voters on or 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 5 P.M. 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 seventh day before the relevant election, as provided in subsection (c) of section 91B, 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.