Permanent Absentee Ballots
Public Act 12-57, “An Act Concerning Permanent Absentee Ballot Status for the Permanently Disabled” created
permanent absentee balloting status for certain individuals and became
effective January 1, 2013.
To be eligible for permanent absentee ballot status, an elector must file with the Town Clerk an absentee ballot application together with a doctor’s certificate stating that they have a permanent disability and are unable to appear in person at their polling place. The doctor’s note should be on letterhead. There is no prescribed form—the doctor’s note and the absentee ballot application would satisfy the requirement of the law.
Permanent absentee ballot status enables the elector to receive an absentee ballot for each election, primary, and referendum in the municipality in which they are eligible to vote. Absentee ballots are available 21 days before a Primary and 31 days before an Election.
In January of each year the Registrars of Voters will send written notice to each elector with permanent absentee ballot status to determine if the elector continues to reside at the address on the permanent absentee ballot application. If the elector fails to respond to the notice, the permanent absentee ballot status will be removed, but the elector will remain on the voter registration list.
The Freedom of Information Commission has indicated that they feel that any doctor’s note on file with the Town Clerk is not subject to disclosure. The original absentee ballot application, however, would continue to be subject to disclosure just like any other application for absentee ballot.