News for the Town Clerk – July 2022

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From the Town Clerk:

Dog Licenses:  2022 Dog Licenses were due on April 1st. Thank you to all that have licensed their dogs for this year. For those who have yet to obtain a dog license, please be advised that, beginning July 1st, a $20 late fee (per dog) was assessed.  Please license your dog(s) before August 1st, at which time further fines may be accrued in accordance with Massachusetts General Law and Town Bylaw.

Voter Status: Per Massachusetts General Law, in June of each year, voter rolls are to be reviewed to determine those voters who have not responded to the current year’s census. Voters in that category will receive a postcard in the mail requesting a response to confirm whether they still reside in Bellingham. Such residents will be designated “inactive voters”. If you receive such a notice, and still live in Bellingham, simply complete the card and return it to the Town Clerk’s office by mail, in-person, or by placing the card in the blue drop box outside of the Municipal Center. At that point, your census will be updated, and your voter status will be returned to “active”. Please understand that an “inactive voters” may still cast a vote, however, would be required to fill out an affidavit stating that they are legal residents of Bellingham. Those who do not return a card, nor show up at Town Meeting or an election, will ultimately be removed from Bellingham’s voter rolls after two election cycles.

The important thing to remember is, if you receive a card from the Town requesting resident verification, simply return the card as soon as possible to avoid any future inconveniences.

 

Elections: The Massachusetts State Legislature finally pass the much awaited “Voter” law at the end of June. The law basically codifies into law all of the changes that were implemented during the covid crisis in 2020, including expanded Early Voting Hours and Mail-In Voting.

The first election to take place under this new law will be the State Primary scheduled for September 6th.  You should receive a postcard from the Secretary of the Commonwealth (SOC) asking whether you would like a ballot mailed to your home. Simply fill out the card and return it to the Bellingham Town Clerk’s office by mail, in-person, or place it in the blue drop box at the entrance of the Municipal Center. If you do not receive a postcard, you may request a vote-by-mail application from the SOC website or from our office.  Absentee applications may also be obtained through the SOC website or from the Town Clerk. If you are an “unenrolled” (commonly called “Independent”) voter, please be sure to indicate which party’s ballot you wish to receive for the Primary only. In a Primary Election, you are voting to choose the slate of candidates for the party selected. If you are enrolled in a political party, you will automatically receive a ballot for that party in which you are enrolled. As usual, there will only be one ballot for the general election. No matter what your party affiliation is (or no party), you are free to vote for the candidate of your choice from any party.

The calendar for the September Primary is as follows:

 

Voter Registration Deadline: August 27, 2022, 8PM

Vote by Mail Application Deadline: August 29, 2022, 4:30PM

Early Voting (Municipal Center Arcand Room): August 27th - September 2nd   

Saturday, August 27th – Noon – 8PM

Sunday, August 28th – Noon – 4PM

Monday, August 29th – 9AM-4PM

Tuesday, August 30th – 9AM – 4PM

Wednesday, August 31st – 9AM – 4PM

Thursday, September 1st – 9AM – 4PM

Friday, September 2nd – 9AM – 1PM

Election Day Polling Hours (High School Gymnasium): 7AM – 8PM

On Ballot: Representative in Congress, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Governor's Council, State Senator, State Representative, District Attorney, Sheriff, County Commissioner.