Everything you need to know to vote on Nantucket this election season.
We typically think of voting in the Presidential election as an event that begins and ends in one day (and this year, that day is Tuesday, November 3rd). However, there’s nothing typical about 2020, and this unique election isn’t limited to just a day – it’s a season. In fact, voting is already in full swing as you read this. If you’ve already voted, congrats! But if not, here’s our guide to voting on Nantucket and in Massachusetts.
Back to Basics: Registration
First things first: check if you’re registered by clicking here. If you are registered and your voting status is active, you’re good to go. If you’re not, act now (yes, right now!) and get registered, because Massachusetts’ registration deadline is Saturday, October 24!
Voting Early In-Person
If your primary residence is on Nantucket, and you’d like to vote in-person but won’t be in town on Election Day, you can vote early! Early in-person voting began on Saturday, October 17th and will continue through Friday, October 30th at Town Hall, 16 Broad Street. Available times are Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and Saturday, October 24, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. For more detailed information, click here. Don’t forget your mask if you vote in-person early!
Voting by Mail
All Massachusetts voters can choose to vote by mail prior to November 3rd, if they complete the application which has been mailed to every registered voter at their residential address. If you’d like to vote by mail but have misplaced your application (it’s okay, it’s happened to many of us too), the application can be found on the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ website. If you’re on-island and would like to request a mail-in ballot at Town Hall (16 Broad Street), you must completely fill out the application beforehand. You can submit your application in-person at Town Hall, by mail, email, or fax, or submit it through the Mail-In Ballot Application System here. The final day to submit your application for a mail-in ballot is October 28th, 2020 at 5pm, but we recommend submitting it as soon as possible! After you submit your application and receive your ballot, fill it out and return it by mail, or drop it off at Town Hall. If you are mailing your ballot, it can be tracked online here to ensure it reaches its destination.
Voting in Person on Election Day
In-person voting will take place on November 3rd, 2020 from 7am to 8pm at Nantucket High School, 10 Surfside Road. The town will be setting up socially-distanced voting booths, but all voters must wear masks, stay six feet apart, and follow all other social distancing protocol while voting. In addition, because of social distancing measures, wait time at the polls will be longer than usual, so try to give yourself as much time at the polls as you possibly can. Keep in mind, Massachusetts doesn’t allow voter registration on Election Day, so it’s worth saying again to check your voter registration status today by clicking here.
What to Bring
Once at the polls, you will be asked to show acceptable identification in Massachusetts, such as a Massachusetts Driver’s License, ID card or any other form of ID that clearly shows the voter’s full name and address in the Commonwealth. Again, make sure to bring that mask with you, and maybe a snack and hand sanitizer while you’re at it!
How to Help
Interested in working at the polls on Election Day? Poll workers distribute ballots, count votes and help voters check in and successfully submit their ballots. Due to COVID-19, poll workers will also be sanitizing booths and helping voters stick to the social distancing protocols this year. Not an island resident but still want to help? Good news! You don’t need to be a resident of Nantucket to be a poll worker. Simply email the Town Clerk, Nancy L. Holmes, at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask if there are any additional poll workers needed.
Who’s on Your Ballot?
Before you put pen to paper and fill in those very important circles, take some time to research exactly who and what is on your ballot. Whether or not your primary residence is on Nantucket, the best place to start for Massachusetts voters is here, where you will find your complete ballot no matter where you live in the state. This preview of your ballot includes where you should go to vote (if your home is on the mainland and you’re going to be there for the election), who your town clerk and your current elected officials are, and their contact information. The preview ballot will also tell you how many individuals to vote for in each category. This year, Massachusetts voters will also be voting on two questions regarding the Right to Repair and Ranked Choice voting. For a full explanation of both sides to each question, click here for NBC 10 Boston’s guide. Again, this is not an official ballot, but it provides an overview of what to expect when casting your vote either by mail or in-person.
You have the power to make your voice heard here on Nantucket, in the greater state of Massachusetts, and across the country. GO VOTE!
Documents and Important Links