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Federal and Statewide Election 2020

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There is an election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Eligible voters will be voting for President, US Senator, US Representatives, State Senators and Representatives, and several other offices. This year, voters in Massachusetts will also have 2 ballot questions to consider.  Here is information that you need to know to participate in this important election.

Starting October 7 at 7:00 pm, view “How to Vote/Cómo Votar” on the Waltham Public Library Youtube Channel.

Voter Registration Information

  • The last day to register to vote for the November 3 election is October 24. Don’t be late! There are several ways you can register.
    • Online through the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office.  Online registration must be completed no later than 11:59 PM on October 24.
    • By Mail. You can print out a mail in registration form here or by calling 1-800-462-VOTE (8683). You can also pick up a mail in registration form at the Waltham Public Library at the holds pickup table on the ground floor. All mail in voter registration forms must be postmarked no later than October 24.
    • In Person: You can register in person through your town/city clerk. Waltham residents can currently visit the City Clerk’s office by appointment only. If you have questions about the City Clerk’s appointment system, contact City Clerk Robert Waddick (rwaddick@city.waltham.ma.us) or Assistant City Clerk Joseph Vizard (jvizard@city.waltham.ma.us). You may also call 781-314-3123 or 781-314-3121. If you are not a Waltham resident, please check the website for your town/city clerk’s office about rules for visiting. According to the Secretary of the Commonwealth (page 12), all local election offices must offer in person voter registration on October 24 from 2 pm – 4 pm and 7 pm – 8 pm.
    • Automatic Motor Voter Registration: If you’re renewing your Massachusetts Drivers License or ID, you will be automatically registered to vote. (Always best to double check though. According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, it can 2 to 3 weeks to get confirmation of the voter registration.)
  • Not sure if you are registered? Check your registration status through the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. Waltham residents can also contact the Waltham City Clerk’s office at 781-314-3123 or 781-314-3121.
  • Don’t have a permanent address? Citizens, regardless of housing status, are allowed to register to vote. According to this site, shelters, street corners, and parks are acceptable to use as a registration address.
  • Massachusetts participates in the Address Confidentiality Program. If you are a citizen but are concerned about your safety being compromised by revealing your address by registering to vote, the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office can help with that. Contact 617-727-3261 or 1-866-SAFE-ADD for more information.
  • Are you registered to vote and your name isn’t on the voter list at your polling place? You have the right to request a provisional ballot. “Provisional ballots are sealed in an envelope and kept separately from other ballots until the voter’s eligibility can be determined. If a provisional voter is determined to be registered, their ballot is unsealed and counted” According to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 54, Section 76C, “A provisional ballot cast by an individual whose voter information is verified before 5:00 p.m. on the third day after a presidential or state primary or the twelfth day after a state election shall be removed from its provisional ballot envelope, grouped with other ballots in a manner that allows for the secrecy of the ballot to the greatest extent possible, and counted as any other ballot.”

How and Where to Vote

  • In Person on Election Day (November 3): Between 7:00 AM and 8:00 PM at your polling place.
    • Find your polling place online with your address.
    • Waltham residents can call the City Clerk at 781-314-3123 or 781-314-3121.
    • If you know your ward and precinct number, you may refer to this list of Waltham polling places:
      Ward Precinct Polling Place
      1 1 PLYMPTON SCHOOL 20 Farnsworth Street
      1 2 WALTHAM HIGH SCHOOL 617 Lexington Street
      2 1 KENNEDY MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC ROOM  655 Lexington Street
      2 2 KENNEDY MIDDLE SCHOOL MUSIC ROOM  655 Lexington Street
      3 1 MACARTHUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 494 Lincoln and Lake Streets
      3 2 NORTHEAST ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 70 Putney Lane off Warwick Avenue
      4 1 FITZGERALD SCHOOL AT REAR 140 Beal Road at Candace Avenue
      4 2 FITZGERALD SCHOOL AT REAR 140 Beal Road at Candace Avenue
      5 1 BRIGHT SCHOOL GYMNASIUM/MALONE ARCHIVES RECORD CENTER 260 Grove Street – Corner of Clark & Bright Streets
      5 2 BRIGHT SCHOOL GYMNASIUM/MALONE ARCHIVES RECORD CENTER 260 Grove Street – Corner of Clark & Bright Streets
      6 1 CHARLES A. LAWLESS HOUSING 110 Pond Street
      6 2 CLARK GOVERNMENT CENTER 119 School St. Corner of School & Lexington St.
      7 1 BANKS SCHOOL BASEMENT 948 Main Street – Corner of Main & South Street
      7 2 BANKS SCHOOL BASEMENT 948 Main Street – Corner of Main & South Street
      8 1 WHALEN HOUSING 84 Orange Street
      8 2 SOUTH MIDDLE SCHOOL 510 Moody Street
      9 1 ARTHUR J. CLARK HOUSING 48 Pine Street
      9 2 CUTTER STREET POLLING BOOTH 8 Cutter Street
  • In Person Early Voting (October 17 – 30): All early voting in Waltham is held at the Malone Archives and Records Center/Bright School at 260 Grove Street. All Massachusetts residents can access early voting site information at the Secretary of the Commonwealth Early Voting page starting October 9.
  • By Mail
    • Request a Mail-in Ballot (no later than October 28)
      • Download a Vote by Mail Application from the Massachusetts Secretary of Commonwealth Voting by Mail Page
      • Call 1-800-462-VOTE (8683) to request a Vote by Mail Application.
      • Instead of an application, write a letter to your Town/City Clerk’s office to request a Mail-In Ballot. The letter must include your name, the address where you are registered to vote, the address where you want the ballot mailed, and your signature. Note: Electronic signatures are not accepted. Waltham residents can send the letter to City of Waltham City Clerk; 610 Main Street; City Hall Second Floor; Waltham, MA 02452
    • Return your Mail in Ballot (must be postmarked by November 3)
      • All 2020 Vote by Mail Ballots will include a pre-addressed, postage pre-paid return envelopes. The United States Postal Service recommends mailing your ballot back at least 7 days before Election Day.
      • Waltham Residents may also drop off ballots in the drop box labeled, “City Business Only” in the back of City Hall (610 Main Street).
      • You can “Track your Ballot” online after you return it to make sure it was received and accepted.

Important Dates

  • October 17 – 30: In Person Early Voting
  • October 24, 2020: Last day to register to vote for the 2020 General Election.
  • October 28, 2020: Last day for mail in voting applications to reach City Clerk’s office.
  • November 3, 2020: Last day for mail in ballots to be postmarked
  • November 3, 2020: In person voting for General Election (if you have not voted early or mailed in a ballot)
  • November 6, 2020: Latest day that mail in ballots need to reach City Clerk’s office.

Rides to the Polls

The Candidates

(List of all candidates running in Massachusetts on November 3, 2020. Candidates listed here are listed in order as they are listed on the ballot (alphabetical by last name). All of the web pages for candidates — including incumbents — are for their campaign websites unless one is unavailable)

President/Vice-President

United States Senator in Congress

Representative in Congress, Fifth District

Massachusetts Governor’s Councilor, Third District

Massachusetts Senator in General Court, Third Middlesex District

Massachusetts Representative in General Court, Ninth Middlesex District

Massachusetts Representative in General Court, Tenth Middlesex District

Register of Probate, Middlesex County

The Ballot Questions

  • Question 1, “Right to Repair”(From Ballotpedia): “Question 1 (2020) would require manufacturers that sell motor vehicles equipped with telematics systems to install a standardized open data platform beginning with model year 2022. The initiative defines telematics systems as “any system in a motor vehicle that collects information generated by the operation of the vehicle and transmits such information, in this chapter referred to as ‘telematics system data,’ utilizing wireless communications to a remote receiving point where it is stored.” Vehicle owners could then access telematics system data through a mobile device application and give consent for independent repair facilities to access that data and send commands to the system for repair, maintenance, and diagnostic testing. Question 1 (2020) would also require that manufacture authorization for mechanical data through the open data platform by owners and independent repair facilities be standardized across all makes and models and administered by an independent party. The Massachusetts Attorney General would also have to prepare notices that motor vehicle dealers present to prospective owners that explain the car’s telematics systems and the requirements under the new law. Denial of access to mechanical data by a manufacturer would result in treble damages or $10,000 in compensation to the vehicle owner.”
    (From Massachusetts Information for Voters 2020 Ballot Questions): “A YES vote would provide motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities with expanded access to wirelessly transmitted mechanical data related to their vehicles’ maintenance and repair. A NO vote would make no change in the law governing access to vehicles’ wirelessly transmitted mechanical data.”
  • Question 2, Ranked-Choice Voting(From Ballotpedia): “Question 2 would enact ranked-choice voting (RCV) for primary and general elections for state executive officials, state legislators, federal congressional representatives, and certain county offices. RCV is a voting method in which voters rank candidates according to their preferences. If a candidate receives greater than 50% of all first-preference votes, the candidate is declared the winner and the tabulation ends. If no candidate receives a simple majority of first-preference votes, then the candidate receiving the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the eliminated candidate are eliminated, and the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots are tallied as their first-preference in the following round. The process is continued until a candidate wins a simple majority (50%+1) of the vote. If there is a tie for last place, the candidates’ support from earlier rounds would be compared to determine who should be eliminated. Currently, statewide elections in Massachusetts use a plurality voting system. In Amherst and Easthampton, ranked-choice voting has been adopted but not implemented. Cambridge has used RCV since 1941 to elect the nine-seat city council and the six-seat school board.”
    (From Massachusetts Information for Voters 2020 Ballot Questions): “A YES vote would create a system of ranked-choice voting in which voters would have the option to rank candidates in order of preference and votes would be counted in rounds, eliminating candidates with the lowest votes until one candidate has received a majority. A NO vote would make no change in the laws governing voting and how votes are counted.”

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