Town Clerk announces vote of Select Board to postpone election in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Milton’s Annual Town Election, originally scheduled for April 28, 2020 has been postponed by vote of the Milton’s Select Board, and rescheduled to Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The postponement was enabled by Ch. 45 of the Acts of 2020, which was acted upon by the Massachusetts Legislature and the Governor last week. The Town of Milton and many other towns of the Commonwealth asked for legislative action to allow Towns to delay holding required elections amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to keep residents, voters, election workers and all residents of the Commonwealth safe.
The Act also includes expanded opportunity for voting without actually going to the polls on Election Day for the Town Election. Routine Absentee Voting is permitted only for those who will not be in Milton during voting hours, those who have a religious observance preventing them from voting on Election Day and those who have a physical disability preventing the voter from going to the polling place. Chapter 45 of the Acts pf 2020 specifically expands for elections held through June 30, 2020, absentee reasons to include any person taking precaution related to COVID-19 in response to a declared state of emergency or from guidance from a medical professional, local or state health official, or any civil authority.
Other important facets of the Act:
- Provides that an incumbent elected official whose term would have expired at a municipal annual town election shall continue to serve in the official’s position until a successor is elected and qualified
- Changes the voter registration deadline to be 10 days before the new election date, in Milton’s case, to Friday, May 29, 2020.
- All printed ballots, including absentee and official, may have the date of the original election on them if they had been printed and may be used in the June 9th election, in Milton’s case, the ballots have not been printed, therefore the ballots will have June 9th date.
- Any absentee ballot already returned for the original election will be counted for the new election date. In Milton’s case, no absentee ballots have been sent to voters, therefore this is not applicable.
- Extends deadline for applying for an absentee ballot to 12:00 noon on the last business day before the new election date, in Milton’s case that’s Monday, June 8th.
- Provides for early voting by mail for any annual or special municipal or state election held on or before June 30, 2020 as long as a written, signed request or letter signed by the voter or close family member is received by the deadline. Once a voter has cast an Early Voting Ballot, that voter may not vote at the polls on Election Day or receive an Absentee Ballot.
Only Milton residents who are registered to vote by May 29th will be eligible to vote in this year’s June 9th Annual Town Election. To register to vote for all future elections, to find out whether and where you are already registered, and where you vote, visit: www.RegisterToVoteMA.com.
To find out more about Absentee and Early Voting, visit the Milton Town Clerk’s pages on the Town website at https://www.townofmilton.org/town-clerk and select link on the left of the page.
Written, signed Absentee Applications and Early Voting Applications that request us to mail you a ballot are also available, online at https://www.townofmilton.org/town-clerk. If you have questions or need additional information, email the Town Clerk at [email protected] or by phone at 617-898-4859 during the time Town Hall is closed to the public
Watch for future updates. Observe Social Distancing and Hygiene Precautions to Stay Well.