On-line voter registration is now available at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/ for residents with a valid Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles ID. Even if you don't have a valid RMV ID, you can still use the on-line system to create an application that can be printed, signed and mailed in.
Residents may also register in-person at the Town Clerk’s Office or Registrar of Voter’s Office any weekday during normal business hours. We are particularly fond of this process for first time registrants and residents new to town as we can provide extra insight into the importance of registering to vote and/or "welcome to Hanover" information while you are here. Special voter registration hours are also provided twenty (20) days before any election or Town Meeting.
Residents may also register to vote at any Registry of Motor Vehicles Office.
A voter must meet the following qualifications to register to vote in Hanover:
- Must be a U.S. citizen
- Must be a Hanover resident
- Must be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
A registered voter may obtain an absentee ballot application at the Town Clerk's Office or on-line at https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/. Upon receipt of the completed application, a ballot will be issued to the registered voter if he or she appears in person during normal business hours, or it will be mailed.
Absentee ballots may only be applied for if the voter:
- Will be absent from Hanover during the hours the polls are open;
- Has a physical disability; or
- Religious beliefs prevent the voter from coming to the polls on Election Day.
A "family member" may also request an absentee ballot for another "family member". This "family member" must be a spouse or person residing in the same household, in-laws, father, mother, sister or brother of the whole or half blood, son, daughter, adopting parent or adopted child, stepparent or stepchild, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or grandchild.
Permanently disabled voters may obtain a note from their physician which should then be mailed to the Town Clerk/Board of Registrars to permanently request an absentee ballot application. Twenty-eight (28) days before each election, an application for an absentee ballot will be automatically mailed to the disabled voter. If the permanently disabled voter fills out the application and requests "all ballots for that calendar year" be mailed to him/her, the application will not need to be mailed for each subsequent election that calendar year; a ballot will simply be mailed automatically. A new absentee ballot application would need to be filled out the following calendar year, though.
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) states that any Service member, eligible family member or overseas citizen may be eligible to vote absentee. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) encourages military Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens to submit a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) every January to ensure they can participate in upcoming Federal elections. The FPCA (SF-76) allows you to apply to register to vote, request an absentee ballot and/or update your contact information with your local election office, the Hanover Town Clerk's Office. FVAP.gov offers an online assistant to walk you through completion of the form, and provides a blank fillable PDF. Hardcopies of the form are also available at embassies and consulates, and military bases around the world.
All absentee ballots must be applied for by noon on the day before an election. At that time, the Town Clerk's Office closes to the public to prepare for the election.
Note: All absentee ballots requested for a family member must be mailed to the voter. They may not be hand carried to the voter, but they may be hand carried back to the Town Clerk’s Office by a family member.
No witnesses are needed, unless the voter is assisted. If assisted, the person doing the assisting signs the bottom of the ballot and gives the reason why. The voter returns the ballot by mail or in person to the Town Clerk.
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