GRAFTON, Mass. — Election Day is nearly two weeks away, but hundreds of Grafton residents have already registered their choices for president.
According to the Town Clerk's office, 562 absentee ballots had been submitted as of Tuesday morning, about the same number as were filed for the 2008 presidential election.
"It is primarily people who will be out of town, work strange hours, or will be on vacation," said Assistant Town Clerk Donna M. Girouard.
According to Massachusetts law, to qualify for an absentee ballot, the voter must:
- be a registered voter
- be absent from town during normal polling hours
- be physically disabled preventing you from getting to the polling place
- unable to vote due to religious beliefs.
- a Massachusetts citizen absent from the state
- an active member of the armed forces or merchant marines, their spouse or dependent
- a person confined in a correctional facility or a jail, except by reason of felony conviction.
Sample ballots have been delivered to the clerk's office. In addition to President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Grafton voters can vote for either former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket or Dr. Jill Stein on the Green Party ticket for president.
Incumbent State Rep. George N. Peterson Jr. (R-Grafton) is on the ballot but is running unopposed. Other races include: the U.S. Senate seat battle between Scott P. Brown (R-Mass.) and Elizabeth A. Warren (D-Mass.), and the state Senate seat for second Worcester district between Michael A. Moore (D-Millbury) and Stephen R. Simonian (R-Auburn).
Ballots can be mailed or picked up at the Municipal Center. Residents must fill out an application first, which is available at the clerk's office or online.
You can do the following:
- Print out the online application and mail it to the municipal center. A ballot will be mailed back.
- Visit the town clerk's office.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is noon Nov. 5. The completed ballot must be received at the Municipal Center by the time polls close on Nov. 6.
The clerk's office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday through Friday, ant 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
For more information call the clerk's office at 508-839-5335, ext. 195.