The following information is provided as a convenience and does not supercede any contrary election laws. Voters may wish to visit the website of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division for additional information concerning voting and elections in Massachusetts at Massachusetts State Website.
Registering to Vote
You can register in person or by mail. A downloadable registration form is available at Voter Registration Form The form can be completed and must be delivered in person to the City Clerk's office or postmarked and mailed by the voter registration deadline to be eligible to vote in the next election. Note that this is not on-line voter registration and the form with the voter's original signature must be filed with the City Clerk. Voters may also register in person at the Office of the City Clerk during regular hours. In addition to the downloadable form, mail-in voter registration cards can be obtained at many public buildings such as libraries, police stations and fire stations. Voters may also register at State agencies such as the Registry of Motor Vehicles and transitional assistance offices.
Pursuant to the Help America Vote Act, a voter voting for the first time in a federal election who registers to vote by mail and does not provide his/her driver's license number or last four digits of his/her Social Security number must show identification at the polling location before he/she can vote. If a copy of a valid identification is mailed with the application or the voter appears at the City Clerks office at Woburn City Hall before the voter registration deadline with identification or registers to vote in person at the City Clerks office, then the identification will not be required at the polling location. Identification includes a current and valid photo identification, a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
The City of Woburn uses optical scanning machines for casting and counting votes. A voter presents herself at her polling place check-in table and states her name and address. The election official will repeat the voter’s name and address, cross her name from the voting list, and hand a paper ballot to the voter. The voter proceeds to the marking tables where she will find a pen to mark her ballot. A voter has five minutes within which to mark the ballot and proceed to the check-out table and again states her name and address. The voter’s name is crossed off and the voter then puts her ballot into the black ballot box. The ballot can be placed in the ballot box face up or face down, top first or bottom first. A secrecy sleeve can be used to cover the ballot while moving about the polling place. They are available at the check-in table where the voter can also receive instructions on the voting process if needed. The voter may also bring a person of her choosing with her to the marking table. If an error is made while voting, the voter can request up to two replacement ballots.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002, a federal law, established certain provisions relative to voting in federal elections. One such provision requires so-called fail-safe voting, otherwise known in the Act as provisional voting, to ensure that no qualified voter is disfranchised. A provisional ballot will be provided to any person who declares that he/she is a registered voter in the voting precinct in which that person intends to vote and that he/she is eligible to vote in a Federal election, but whose name does not appear on the official voters’ list or if an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote. Certain information will be gathered from the individual, they will be provided with a provisional ballot, and the determination of whether that ballot is counted is made AFTER the close of polls. The determination of whether a provisional ballot is counted must be made regardless of whether it will make a difference in the outcome of the election.
If a voter will be absent from the City during the hours the polls are open, has a physical disability preventing her from going to the polling place, or a religious belief that does not permit her to vote on the day of the election, or if the voter has entered a health care facility anytime after 12:00 noon on the fifth day before the election, or if the voter qualifies as a non-registered voter who is a.) a Massachusetts citizen absent from the state, or b.) an active member of the armed forces or merchant marines, their spouse or dependent, or c.) a person confined in a correctional facility or jail except if by reason of felony conviction, then she can vote by absentee ballot. NO other reason is sufficient to vote by absentee ballot.
Application for Absentee Voting
Application for an absentee ballot must be made in writing, signed by the voter and received by the City Clerk by no later than 12:00 noon the day before the election. The ballot will be mailed to the voter. In the alternative, the voter can go to the office of the City Clerk, fill out an application for an absentee ballot and vote in person at the Office of the City Clerk. NO ballot can be taken out of the Office of the City Clerk in hand, unless the voter has entered a health care facility anytime after 12:00 noon on the fifth day before the election and files an appropriate application. If a ballot is mailed to the voter, after voting the ballot can be returned by mail to the Office of the City Clerk or delivered in person in hand by the voter or a family member of the voter to the Office of the City Clerk. If delivered in hand to the Office of the City Clerk, the ballot must be given in hand to a member of the staff of the Office of the City Clerk and cannot be left with anyone other than the staff of the Office of the City Clerk. If a family member delivers the ballot to the Office of the City Clerk, they must sign their name and relationship on the outer envelope in which the ballot is delivered.
The Affidavit on the front of the inner envelope in which the absentee ballot is placed MUST be completely and correctly filled out by the voter or the ballot may be rejected by the Board of Registrars.
Illegal absentee voting, including making a false application, is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.