Presidential Primary Information

Early Voting Hours and Registration Schedule for the Presidential Primary 

Democratic Sample Ballot Presidential Primary 3-5-2024 (PDF)
Libertarian Sample Ballot Presidential Primary 3-5-2024 (PDF)
Republican Sample Ballot Presidential Primary 3-5-2024 (PDF)


Key Dates

2024 Elections / Town Meetings

  • Presidential Primary - March 5, 2024 (2/24/2024 Last day to register to vote for this election)
  • Annual Town Meeting - April 6, 2024 (3/21/2024 Last day to register to vote in this Town Meeting)
  • Local Election - May 7, 2024 (4/26/2024 Last day to register to vote for this election)
  • State Primary - September 3, 2024 (8/24/2024 Last day to register to vote for this election)
  • Fall Town Meeting - September 9, 2024 (8/30/2024 Last day to register to vote in this Town Meeting)
  • Presidential Election - November 5, 2024 (10/26/2024 Last day to register to vote for this election)

2025 Elections / Town Meetings

  • April 5, 2025 Annual Town Meeting
  • May 6, 2025 Local Election
  • September 8, 2025 Fall Town Meeting

*Town Election and Town Meeting dates are subject to change per issuance of the Warrant

Register to Vote

Registration forms can be found in the back door vestibule of Town Hall, sent by mail-in, through the Registry of Motor Vehicles or online at the Secretary of the Commonwealths website.

You can find information on Residence for Voting Purposes here.

Voting on Election Day

Voting on Election Day takes place at the following locations:

  • Precinct 1: Town Hall Annex, 26 Broadway
  • Precinct 2: St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 24 Broadway
  • Precinct 3: Rockport Community House, 58 Broadway
  • Election Day Voting Hours: 7 am to 8 pm

Voting in Person

You can still vote in person if you’ve applied to vote by mail. You can vote at an early voting location (for state primaries and elections) or your polling place on Election Day.

You can not vote in person if your ballot has been accepted by your local election office. You can’t take your ballot back or vote again.

Use the state's website to track your ballot status. If your ballot hasn’t been accepted by the Town Clerk's Office, you may vote in person at your polling place. If your ballot arrives at your local election office after you’ve voted, the mail-in ballot will be rejected.

Vote By Mail

Massachusetts voters now have the option to vote early by mail in all elections, with no excuse required. To request your Vote by Mail ballot, submit a signed application to your local election office. Any written request with your signature is an acceptable application. You can simply write a signed letter to your local election office to apply for your ballot.

In addition to no-excuse early voting by mail, Massachusetts has absentee voting for those who qualify. While early Vote by Mail ballots are more common, there are special circumstances where you need to apply for an absentee ballot instead. You can find more information about absentee ballot eligibility under "Absentee Ballots" below.
View more information on vote by mail

Applying for a Primary Ballot

If you’re applying for a primary ballot, and you aren’t registered in a party, you must indicate which party’s ballot you want to receive. If you don’t provide a party on your application, you will not receive a primary ballot.

If you’re unenrolled (commonly called “Independent”), you are allowed to vote in the party primary of your choice. Your ballot choice will not affect your party registration.

Application Deadlines

Any mail-in ballot must be requested in writing at least 5 business days before Election Day.
Application deadlines for 2024 are listed below. Your application can only be accepted if it has reached your local election office by the deadline.


Application Deadline

March 5, 2024 Presidential Primary

5 p.m. February 27, 2024

May 7, 2024 Annual Town Election

5 p.m. May 2, 2024

September 3, 2024 State Primary

5 p.m. August 27, 2024

November 5, 2024 General Election

5 p.m. October 29, 2024

Apply as early as possible, especially if your ballot will need to be mailed out of town. The U.S. Postal Service recommends allowing up to 7 days for mail delivery. To ensure you receive your ballot with enough time to mail it back, you should apply 2-3 weeks before Election Day.

Vote By Mail Paper Applications

Unenrolled (formerly referred to as Independent) Vote By Mail Application (PDF)

Enrolled (in a political party) Vote By Mail Application (PDF)

Absentee Ballots

Absentee Ballot Application (PDF)

To qualify for an Absentee ballot, you must:

  • Be away from your city/town on Election Day; or
  • Have a disability that keeps you from voting at your polling place; or
  • Have a religious belief that prevents you from voting at your polling place on Election Day

Absentee voters use the same ballots as early voters and have the same deadlines for returning their ballots. Most voters who qualify for an absentee ballot can choose instead to apply for an early Vote by Mail ballot. There are some times that an absentee ballot application is needed. You should fill out an absentee ballot application if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen residing overseas; or
  • You are on active military duty; or
  • You are currently incarcerated for a reason other than a felony conviction; or
  • You are requesting an emergency absentee ballot due to hospitalization.

Emergency Absentee Ballots
If you have been admitted to a healthcare facility within 1 week of the election, you may use the absentee ballot application to designate someone of your choice to deliver a ballot to you. The person you designate to deliver your ballot will need to bring the signed application to your local election office, pick up your absentee ballot, bring it to you, and return it for you by the close of polls on Election Day. Emergency ballots may be requested up until the close of polls.

Military & Overseas Voters
If you are a U.S citizen residing out of the country or on active military duty, you may use the Federal Post Card Application or the Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application to request your ballot. More information is available on our page for Voting for Military & Overseas Citizens.

Returning your Ballot

There are several options for returning your ballot. You may return your ballot by:

  • Mailing it back to your local election office
  • Hand-delivering your ballot to your local election office; or
  • Dropping your ballot off at an early voting location during early voting hours; or
  • Using a ballot drop box provided by your city or town.

Ballots cannot be dropped off at a polling place on Election Day.

Your ballot must reach the Rockport Town Clerk's Office by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. Ballots that arrive after that time – even if they are postmarked on or before Election Day – will not be counted. 

For General Elections, ballots returned in person or by drop box must reach your local election office by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Ballots returned by mail from inside the United States must reach your local election office by 5 p.m. on the third day following the election and can only be counted if they are postmarked by Election Day. 

Use the state's Track My Ballot tool to check the status of your ballot. The tracker will show you the date your ballot was mailed, the date it was returned, and whether your ballot was accepted or rejected.

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