I received the following information from the Cambridge City Manager: The election on 9/20 will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Chesapeake College with most of the election procedures will be the same as with the first round.
REQUESTING ABSENTEE BALLOT
Tom Carroll expects to have a form published on the city website to request absentee ballots on the website. Available Now.
Tom indicates that it is taking about a week for folks requesting an absentee ballot to receive them in the mail.
The city processes the request the same day they receive it and the week is probably more a function of the USPS. So, he would advise folks to request their ballot asap.
Latest they could and still reasonably expect to receive it would be 9/12, but that is a practical guideline and not a legal deadline. He advises that the Cambridge Post Office is receiving mail and putting it directly in the box for the election, so folks can walk right in through the morning of 9/20 and hand it to the front window at the Post Office and the ballot will get there. He indicates that folks can also bring their absentee ballot (or have someone do it for them) on election day and They will be put in the box and counted as shown on Town Hall Streams with all the other absentee ballots. Folks can also request and absentee ballot anytime and if they don’t get it in time they can cast an in-person ballot and the system will count the in-person ballot only and knock out any absentee ballots cast by someone voting in person and by absentee.
In-person voting will be conducted at Chesapeake College, 418 Race Street.
There is free parking, including ADA accessible parking spaces, at the municipal lot between Race and Academy streets. Free on-street parking is also available on Race Street. Voters can access the voting area from either Race Street or from the rear of the Chesapeake College building. No electioneering or campaigning is allowed within 100 feet of the entrances to Chesapeake College. No COVID-19 restrictions are in place, but individuals wishing to wear face masks are most welcome and everyone is asked to follow the distancing protocols we have all become accustomed to over the last two years.
Individuals waiting in line to vote at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote. However, anyone arriving at the end of the voting line at or after 7:01 p.m. will not be allowed to cast a vote.
So please leave ample time to get to the polling station on election day. Here are the most frequently asked questions about the upcoming special election.
Absentee Ballots – Please read the rules if you have one.
When is the deadline to request an absentee ballot?
There is no legal deadline by which eligible voters have to request an absentee ballot. But there is a practical one. An absentee ballot has to be received at the Cambridge Post Office on or before election day for the ballot to be counted. Only ballots received at the City’s secured lockbox at the Cambridge Post Office on or before election day will be counted.
Absentee ballots that are still in transit through the US mail system and which have not arrived on Tuesday, August 23rd will not be counted.Too late to mail. Absentee ballots can also be dropped off directly at the Cambridge Post Office but must be addressed to P.O. Box # 1043 in a sealed envelope and delivered to Post Office staff by 1 p.m. on August 23rd.
What if I have requested an absentee ballot but it has not arrived at my house yet or arrives too close to election day for me to be confident it will make it to the City’s lockbox at the Cambridge Post Office?
You have four options.
- First, you can bring your absentee ballot to Chesapeake College on election day and cast it then. You can also give another person your completed absentee ballot to bring to the polling station on election day.
- Second, you can throw out your absentee ballot and cast an in-person ballot on election day at Chesapeake College.
- Third, you can drop off your absentee ballot directly to the Cambridge Post Office by 1 p.m. on August 23rd.
- Lastly, you can mail in your ballot and hope it arrives at the Cambridge Post Office in time. It is recommended that you mail your absentee ballot no later than Friday, August 19th.
I requested an absentee ballot but want to vote in person to make sure my vote is counted
If I have requested an absentee ballot but want to vote in person to make sure my vote is counted, how will the City know which ballot to count? Each voter can have only one ballot counted. The City’s election consultant, True Ballot, Inc., runs elections across the nation. True Ballot has systems in place to track all ballots and ensure nobody votes more than once.
If a voter both requested an absentee ballot and votes in person, True Ballot, Inc. will have a record that two ballots were provided and will knock out the absentee ballot and exclude it from being counted. Only the ballot cast in-person ballot will be recorded. So, nobody can vote twice but a voter who is afraid their absentee ballot will not be counted on election day can still come in and cast their in-person ballot.
Special Needs assistance
What if I need assistance voting on election day because of a disability or medical condition? The City has three citizen volunteers to serve as election judges and an election clerk. Two or more of these citizens will work together to provide anyone with special needs whatever assistance they require to cast their vote on election day. These volunteers are working without compensation all day to ensure the integrity of the election process. The City will also have several city staff members working to get all voters ballots on election day.
I am not sure that I am registered to vote.
Can I still come to Chesapeake College to vote? Yes.
The City will use the list of registered voters provided by the Dorchester County Board of Elections effective through August 3rd. If you are a registered voter, you will be checked against this list. If you are not a registered voter, you will not be given a ballot.
If you feel this is an error, you can be provided a provisional ballot which will be counted if the election judges later determine the database was in error for some reason. A provisional ballot allows you to vote while present but places that vote in a special pile to be more closely examined by election officials at a later date.
When will the results of the August 23rd special election be known?
The City anticipates the counting to be completed by 10 p.m. on August 23rd, with the election results to be certified by noon on August 24th.
Can I watch the votes being counted?
.Yes. The City will have a video camera in the polling station live-streaming the counting. You can check it out on https://townhallstreams.com by selecting the City of Cambridge and viewing the upcoming events. The direct link for the live stream is below: https://townhallstreams.com/stream.php?location_id=87&id=47087
What if no one candidate gets more than 50% of the votes cast?
What if no one candidate gets more than 50% of the votes cast? If no one candidate receives a majority of votes on August 23rd, the top two candidates will advance to a run-off election to be held on September 20th from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the City Manager at TCarroll@ChooseCambridge.com.