Voting Procedures


The polls are open in Brookline on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. all elections and primaries.

Checking In

Approximately half of the Town of Brookline's polling place check-in lists are split alphabetically by street name. This is done to ease the potential for long lines during state elections. When a voter approaches the check-in table, they first tell the poll worker the name of the street where they live, then the number of their residence, and finally their name. As the voters list is statutorily required to be arranged by street, this is the quickest way to receive your ballot and keep any long lines moving.

Voter Information

Unenrolled Voters

In a primary election, voters who are registered in a political party only may obtain a ballot for that party. If you are an unenrolled voter (commonly referred to as an "independent voter") or a member of a political designation, you may request the ballot of any party participating in the primary election.

Active and Inactive Lists of Voters

If your name does not appear on the active list of voters, the poll worker will direct you to the Warden's Table where the Warden will check the inactive list. If the Warden is unable to locate you on either list, they will then contact the Town Clerk's office to determine if you are registered to vote in the Town of Brookline. If you are registered in another precinct, you must go to that polling place and cast your ballot.

Provisional Ballots

If you are not on any list in the town, but believe you have registered to vote, you may cast a provisional ballot at the Town Clerk's office or at the polling location. Your provisional ballot, at the close of the polls, will be transmitted to the Town Clerk's office for further review and determination by the Board of Registrars of Voters.

Provisional Ballot Procedures

You will receive a receipt with a toll-free telephone number for you to call the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office so that you may find out the disposition of your provisional ballot. If the Board of Registrars of Voters determine that you are a registered voter within the town, your provisional ballot will be counted. If it is determined that you are not registered to vote or that you are not eligible to vote for any other reason, then your provisional ballot will be rejected. The disposition of each provisional ballot that is received on election day is reported to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

Casting Ballots

Once you give your address and your name at the check-in table, you will receive a ballot for voting and if you desire, a security sleeve. You will take your ballot to an available marking booth where you may vote for the choices available on the ballot or, if you prefer, write in the name of a candidate in the space provided. Once you have completed marking your ballot you will then proceed to the check-out table, where once again, you will give your address and your name. Once your name is checked-off on the voting list you may place your ballot into the Accu-Vote scanner and leave the security sleeve with the checker.

Accommodations for Voters With Disabilities

If you are disabled, you may bring your ballot to the AutoMark marking unit. This machine will allow you to privately review your ballot through an audio program and enhanced imaging. You may then mark your ballot either by buttons marked in braille or by touch-screen. Once you have marked your ballot you will then proceed to the check-out table and then place your ballot into the Accu-Vote scanner.

Any voter who declares the need for assistance may be accompanied by someone who can provide that needed assistance or request a poll worker to provide them with confidential, nonpartisan help.

Prohibited Activities

State law prohibits the display of political paraphernalia or any political activity within 150 feet of the entrance to the polling location. Signs, stickers, and even lapel buttons are not permitted within this restricted zone. State regulations also prohibit political solicitation within the restricted zone.