Tips for Voting in New Bedford
Make Election day run smoothly with these tips:
- The City of New Bedford uses electronic voting machines (the DS200 vote scanner and tabulator) which receive paper ballots. The voter simply fills in the oval next to the candidate’s name on the paper ballot and feeds the completed ballot into the electronic voting machine:
- Know where your designated polling place is. To find your polling location, search here: http://wheredoivotema.com/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx, call the Elections Office (508) 979-1420 or scan our List of Polling Locations.
- It is your responsibility as a voter to notify the Elections Office if your address has changed. If you have moved, you may update your registration before the deadline to register to vote by filling out a new voter registration form or by contacting the Elections Office at (508) 979-1420.
- If you move after the deadline to register to vote in a state election or primary, you should wait to update your registration until after the election or primary, and return to vote at your pervious polling place in Massachusetts. (State law allows you to vote from a previous address in a state election for up to six months after you have moved, as long as you have not registered elsewhere.)
- Voting usually takes only a few minutes but if voter turnout is high you may have to wait if you head to the polls during peak hours. Consider casting your ballot in the mid-morning or mid-afternoon when polling places are less likely to be crowded or try early voting.
- On Election Day the polls open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM. All voters in line at 8:00 P.M. will be given the opportunity to vote.
- To save time, study the candidates and ballot issues before Election Day. You can find a list of the candidates and ballot questions that will be on the ballot in the Sunday edition of the local newspaper preceding Election Day. You may also pick up a sample ballot at the Election Office, 133 William Street, Room 114. Sample ballots are also posted at the entrance of your voting precinct for your convenience along with voting instructions and penalties. Sample ballots will also be shown on our web site when available.
- Once at the polls, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Polls workers can explain anything you need to know about how the voting equipment works, how to vote and can assist anyone who asks for help.
- On Election Day, some voters may find that their names have been placed on the list of inactive voters. The inactive voters list is made up of registered voters who have not responded to the annual street list or subsequent confirmation notice. Inactive voters may still vote, but will first be asked to show identification and will be required to fill out an affirmation of current and continuous residence.
- If you don’t know if you are eligible to vote in an election, please call the Board of Elections at (508) 979-1420 and a staff person will assist you. You may also look up your own voter registration status here.
- If you need assistance to vote, please notify the poll worker as you enter the polling place or you can bring anyone with you (except a candidate) to assist you with reading the ballot.
- If you make an error in marking your ballot, go immediately to the Warden or Clerk with the spoiled ballot. It will be voided and you will be given a fresh ballot to vote. Voters are entitled a maximum of 3 ballots.