Submitting an absentee ballot for MA primary? This is what you need to know

Hampden County

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – We are less than five days away from Super Tuesday. 

If there are any discrepancies in your absentee ballot your vote might not be counted so it’s important that you fill it out carefully and in a timely manner to make sure your voice is heard.  

Absentee ballots allow voters who are unable to make it to the polls due to being out of town on election day, a physical disability or a religious belief, to participate in elections. But 22News has learned that voting this way can sometimes be more complicated. 

Here is why: If you forget your signature on an absentee ballot or it’s defective in any way – it gets rejected and not counted. In very rare instances if a ballot is filled out in any other ink other than the one provided, it won’t be read. 

“Some older machines require some sort of infrared pen to mark the ballot and be read,” said Otto Fraizzell, West Springfield City Clerk. “We don’t use those in West Springfield we have new machines. I don’t know of a community using those in the area, but there are some old machines that require that special ink.” 

To avoid not being counted, your best bet, submit your absentee ballot as soon possible, that way if something goes wrong, your local election office can send a new one to fill out. However, under federal law states don’t have to verify the ballot so that it can be counted. 

Absentee ballots must be received by your local election office by the time polls close on Tuesday. Click here for more information.

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