At its March 30, 2020 meeting, The Shutesbury Select Board voted to reschedule the Shutesbury’s Annual Election and Town Meeting for Saturday, June 27, 2020. This vote followed the passage of new measures to allow towns to reschedule elections under Chapter 45 of the Acts of 2020 by the State legislature on March 23, 2020.
The legislation has increased opportunities for Absentee Voting or Early Voting by mail.
Step 1. Both methods of voting start with a request for a ballot. A registered voter may send a signed, written request, mailed or emailed, to the Town Clerk stating residential address, which type of ballot is being requested (Absentee or Early) and where to mail it. Or you can download either application form. (AV here) or (EV here) Emailing a jpeg of your signed letter or application is also acceptable. Once your request is received, we will mail you a ballot, a ballot envelope (with affidavit and signature line) and an envelope in which to mail the ballot to Town Hall. Requests for ballots can be mailed in now. Ballots will be mailed out starting May 1, 2020.
Step 2. Early and Absentee ballots are exactly the same. The affidavits to sign differ slightly. The Absentee Voter is signing that they affirm they are a registered voter in Shutesbury using an absentee ballot because they will be absent from town on election day, or are unable to vote due to a disability (now including the Covid-19 precautions) or religious belief. The Early Voter signs the ballot envelope affidavit affirming they are a registered Shutesbury voter but does not swear to any specific reason. Your ballot affidavit envelope must be signed in order to be counted.
Step 3. The voter then seals the ballot inside the signed envelope and puts that envelope into the mailing envelope with a first class stamp provided by the town. We will not be able to provide a drop off spot and citizens cannot vote in person during the Absentee/Early Voting period because Town Hall remains closed. All mailed ballots must reach the Town Clerk by noon on June 27.
The legislation still requires the opportunity to vote in person on Election Day, June 27th. The polls will be open from 8 am to 2 pm. Social distancing may still be required, and we ask for your cooperation. Annual Town Meeting will convene at 9 am. The location for both events is the Shutesbury Elementary School, 23 West Pelham Rd. If any of these plans are modified, an announcement will be made on the town website, www.shutesbury.org.