In response to the State of Emergency and concerns about COVID-19 and its implications on election administration, the Governor signed a law authorizing the Board of Selectmen to vote to postpone the local election which was scheduled for April 7, 2020. A copy of the law may be viewed here. At the joint meeting held on March 27, 2020, the Board of Selectmen and Board of Registrars voted to reschedule the election to June 2, 2020. Virginia Crocker Timmins made a MOTION, seconded by Emily Antul that, in accordance with Chapter 45 of the Acts of 2020, the Town of Chelmsford postpone the Town election scheduled for April 7, 2020, to June 2, 2020. Roll call vote: Virginia Crocker Timmins votes AYE, Emily Antul votes AYE, George Dixon votes AYE, Pat Wojtas votes AYE, Kenneth Lefebvre votes AYE. Motion passes by unanimous consent.
The law requires the Town to post public notice of the postponed election and rescheduled election date on its website and to broadly publicize the postponement and rescheduling. The Town of Chelmsford is posting this notice on the website and will provide additional notice through the Newsflash notification and issue press releases to The Lowell Sun and Chelmsford Independent.
The law establishes a new voter registration deadline of 8:00 p.m. on the 10th day before the rescheduled election. The rescheduled election date is June 2, 2020, therefore, the 10th day before the rescheduled election is Friday, May 22, 2020.
The law authorizes the Town to reuse election materials. The Town will be using the official and absentee ballots dated for the April 7, 2020 election. As required by the law a sample of the ballot may be viewed here.
Considering widespread practice of social distancing, the law provides for two alternatives to voting in person:
- First, the law allows any person taking precaution related to COVID-19 to vote by absentee ballot. All applications for an absentee ballot must be received by the Town Clerk before noon on Monday June 1, 2020, the last business day before the election. Any person may apply for an absentee ballot by sending a signed request to the Town Clerk’s office or filling out the absentee ballot application available here. Requests can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or can be mailed to: Town Clerk, 50 Billerica Road, Chelmsford, MA 01824
- Second, the law provides for early voting by mail. All applications for early voting ballots must be received before noon on Monday June 1, 2020, the last business day before the election. Any person may obtain an early voting ballot by sending a signed request to the Town Clerk’s office or by filling out and returning the early voting application available here. Your early voting ballot must be received by the Town Clerk before the polls close 8:00 PM on election day.
The law does NOT make any other changes to elections or the election process. It does NOT, for example, change the number of signatures or the submission deadline for candidates for office.
Sample ballots can be viewed here