The following is the procedure for seeking office in the Town of Hopkinton. A person must be a registered voter in Hopkinton and either obtain and submit nomination papers by securing the signatures of 50 Hopkinton registered voters; or a person may qualify by being the top vote getter in one of the town political party caucuses; or a combination of both.
Any person who is a Massachusetts resident, a United States citizen and will be eighteen years old as of the next election is eligible to register to vote. You do not need a driver’s license or any other form of identification to register in person. When you sign the registration form, your must attest, under the pains and penalties of perjury, that you are legally eligible to register and that the information you provide is accurate and truthful. The penalty for fraudulent registration increased recently to a fine of ten thousand dollars or imprisonment for up to five years, or both. First time voters who choose to register by mail are required to show identification. You may include a copy of acceptable identification when returning the mail-in registration form or come by this office to show identification or you will be required to show identification at the polls on Election Day. Acceptable identification includes a driver’s license, current and valid photo id (such as those issued by the Registry), current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document showing your name and the address at which you are registering. The identification is not kept; it is only used to support the identification supplied on the registration form. Inactive voters will receive a notice notifying them that they will be removed from the voting list if they fail to respond to the notice and do not vote in the next two biennial state elections following the mailing of the notice. If you move to another city or town you must register in your new community. You will remain on the list of voters so long as you vote regularly and complete and return the annual municipal census. If you move to another city or town you must register in your new community.
Voter registration forms are available at the Town Clerk’s Office in the Town Hall, at the Library and various other locations throughout the state. Mail-in forms may be obtained at the Town Clerk’s Office in the Town Hall or by calling the State Elections Division at 800-462-8683 or download a form from the Federal Site www.eac.gov. In addition, the state registries of motor vehicles, social service agencies and military recruitment offices provide voter registration services.Registration Deadlines
You must register to vote at least twenty days before any Town or State election or the Presidential Primary in order to vote.
All precincts vote at the Middle School Gym, 88 Hayden Rowe Street (enter by Grove Street). For the November 6, 2012 State Election the polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
When you approach the check-in table, first tell the poll worker the name of the street where you live, the number of your residence and finally your name.
In a primary election, voters who are registered in a political party may only obtain a ballot for that party. If you are an unenrolled voter (commonly referred to as an independent voter), you may request the ballot of any party participating in the primary election. You will not become registered in a political party because of your participation in a primary.
When you have finished voting, proceed to the checkout table and again state the street where you live, then the number of your residence and your name. After you have checked out, you deposit your ballot in the ballot box. Children cannot handle official ballots. Over-voted ballots will be immediately picked up by the election tally machines when someone casts a ballot that has been over-voted. You will have the opportunity to take another ballot and vote again or to cast the over-voted ballot. You must wait until the machine fully accepts or rejects your ballot.
Provisional ballots will be offered to anyone who feels they are qualified to vote, but are not on the voter list or fail to present identification at the polls. To cast a provisional ballot a person must sign an Affirmation form stating they are a current resident of Hopkinton and registered to vote or return with identification before the polls close. Provision ballots are counted if the election official can verify the individual's eligibility. After the election anyone who has cast a provisional ballot may inquire if their ballot was voted.
Acceptable identification includes a driver's license, current and valid photo id (such as those issued by the Registry), current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document showing your name and the address at which you are registering. The identification is not kept; it is only used to support the identification supplied on the registration form.Prohibited Activities
State law prohibits the display of political paraphernalia within 150 feet of the entrance to the polling location. Signs, stickers and even lapel buttons are not permitted within this restricted zone.
Absentee Voting Requirements
Obtaining an Absentee Ballot
Returning the Application for an Absentee Ballot
If a voter submits a note from a registered physician indicating that she or he is permanently disabled, the Town Clerk will send an absentee ballot for every election in that year and thereafter.