October 30, 2020

From the Town Clek

Posted

Hello All ~ I hope you are enjoying the beautiful Fall weather in Rehoboth!  Speaking of the Fall, I would like to remind all town residents that Town Offices will be closed on Monday, October 12th for Columbus Day.  Also, Monday, November 2nd quarterly real estate taxes are due.  Final reminder, please vote either mail-in, in-person early or in-person on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd (details on the election appear below).

What a Sad – Sad Day
Saturday, September 12, 2020 will unfortunately always be remembered as a sad day in Rehoboth when the COA Senior Center burned to the ground.  My thoughts and prayers are with Linna Sherman and her staff along with the hundreds of Seniors who enjoyed the Gladys L. Hurrell COA Senior Center.  Even during the Pandemic, the Rehoboth COA Senior Center offered many services to our seniors and residents.  I am personally thrilled that Linna and the Board of Selectmen have secured a new temporary location, while plans are being developed for rebuilding the Senior Center.  This will enable the COA staff to resume pre-fire services within the next week or so.  Thank you to the Rehoboth Fire Department for all you did to try to save the building.  So very sorry for the Town’s loss.

Fortunately, after the September 1, 2020 election, which was held at Palmer River Elementary School, we decided to keep the election equipment up at Town Hall, which would have normally been stored at the COA, until the November 3rd election.  The only election equipment we lost was the storage cart for the voting booth quads, a few individual voting booths and an assortment of older election signs.  We were certainly very lucky as some of the election equipment is no longer available for purchase and would have impacted the 11-3-2020 Presidential Election.  Speaking of the upcoming election, please see important information regarding voting below.

November 3, 2020 Election & Early Voting (In-Person and By-Mail)
Last Day to Register to Vote for the upcoming 11-3-2020 Presidential & State Election is, Saturday, October 24, 2020.  In-Person voter registration at Town Hall, 148 Peck Street, will take place from 2-4 p.m. and 7-8 p.m. on Saturday, 10-24-2020.   You may also register to vote online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com  24/7.  There are also voter registration forms in the lobby of the Rehoboth Post Office. 

As with the September 1, 2020 Primary Election, all Rehoboth Registered Voters will have the option to vote one of three ways:

  1. In-Person on Election Day – Tuesday, November 3, 2020 from 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Palmer River Elementary School Gymnasium, 326 Winthrop Street (Route 44) – lines forming on the blacktop outside the gymnasium.
  2. In-Person Early Voting at Town Hall – 148 Peck Street – every day from Saturday, October 17, 2020 – Friday, October 30, 2020. Weekend Hours are 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; Weekday Hours are Monday-Thursday – 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Friday - 8:00 a.m.-12:00 Noon.   For those of you who would like to early vote in person.  Here is the schedule for October:

Presidential Election Early Voting in Person
Period:                        October 17th - 30th
Location:                    Weekdays - Town Offices–148 Peck Street – Selectmen’s Meeting Room*

Weekends – also Town Offices – 148 Peck Street – Rear Entrance – Meeting Room*

DAY

DATE

TIMES

LOCATION

Saturday

10/17

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Town Hall *

Sunday

10/18

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Town Hall *

Monday

10/19

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Tuesday

10/20

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Wednesday

10/21

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Thursday

10/22

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Friday

10/23

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Town Hall *

Saturday

10/24

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Town Hall *

Sunday

10/25

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Town Hall *

Monday

10/26

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Tuesday

10/27

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Wednesday

10/28

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Thursday

10/29

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Town Hall *

Friday

10/30

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Town Hall *

*Please note that the number of voters allowed in Town Hall/polling location will be limited due to social distancing protocols. Entry to Town Hall will be from the rear of the building, handicapped entrance.

  1. Vote By Mail – Applications ~ Don’t forget you can also vote by mail:

For those of you who already filed a postcard application for a mail-in ballot, you may check the status of your request on the State Elections website at Track Your Ballot below.  If your record states “Pending” that means we have received your application, but are waiting for the State to print and ship the ballots to us.  Once we receive the ballots from the State, we will mail out your ballots and have the data updated to “Ballot Mailed” on Track Your Ballot.  The State estimates we should receive the ballots no later than October 5th. 

If you did not request a mail-in ballot, and would like to, please download an application from the town website @ https://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/home/news/11-3-2020-election-early-voting-information or visit  the State Elections website @ https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/2020-Vote-by-Mail-Application.pdf.  Please complete the application, sign with a handwritten, not typed, signature and either scan and e-mail to us at TownClerk@RehobothMA.gov, drop off in the drop box outside of Town Hall, 148 Peck Street, or mail to the Town Clerk’s Office, 148 Peck Street.  VERY IMPORTANT - APPLY EARLY - to allow ample time for processing your application and for the postal services to deliver your ballot to you.  For your information, any voter that has returned a vote by mail ballot (or voted early in person) cannot vote on Election Day.  Best way to return your ballot is to place it in the Drop Box outside of Town Offices (148 Peck Street).  Below is what the Ballot Drop Box looks like:

Before you return your ballot please make sure you:

  • Completed both sides of your ballot (candidates on front; two questions are on the back of the ballot).
  • Put your envelope inside the small brown security envelope and seal the envelope closed.
  • VERY IMPORTANT - Please sign line #1 of the brown ballot security envelope.  We cannot process your ballot without your signature.
  • Place the brown signed security envelope inside the "white" return envelope and either drop off at the Town Hall Ballot Drop Box or place in the mail to us @ 148 Peck Street.  Postage is pre-paid.

TRACK  YOUR  APPLICATION  AND  BALLOT

Voters who have applied for a vote by mail ballot may use this link:  http://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema//track/trackmyballot.aspx to track the status of their application as well as their ballot status (pending / mailed / received back in our office - accepted).  Please note that we anticipate a large volume of applications (there are over 9,800 voters in Rehoboth) and we request that you allow at least a week or so before checking the status of your application and allow a minimum of 7 business days to receive your ballot from the status date of mailing.  The Rehoboth Post Office has been very good about expediting ballots mailed at the Rehoboth Post Office; however, if you do not mail your ballot from Rehoboth, it can take 7 or more days for us to receive your mailed ballot from outside of Rehoboth.  Please do not contact the Clerk's Office to check on your status until the recommended amount of time listed above has passed.  Inquiries should be sent via e-mail to TownClerk@RehobothMA.gov  or call 508-252-6502.

RETURN OF VOTE BY MAIL BALLOTS

Mailed Ballots include a postage pre-paid return ballot envelope (white envelope) that is addressed to the Town Clerk's Office.  You may return your ballot by mail (please see deadlines below) or hand deliver your ballot by placing it in the drop box outside of the Town Offices (drop box deadline is close of polls on Election Day). Ballots CANNOT be returned to the polling location on Election Day - they must be returned to the drop box at Town Hall for processing; no later than 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd.

  • Ballots being dropped off at the Ballot Drop Box at Town Hall (148 Peck Street) must be deposited into the drop box no later than 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd.
  • Ballots being mailed from inside the United States must be postmarked by November 3rd and received by November 6th.

BE PREPARED FOR IN-PERSON VOTING
In-Person Voting on Election Day - What You Need To Know Before You Go: Expect long lines on Election Day.  The last Presidential Election Rehoboth had 81% of their Registered Voters vote in the Presidential Election, which is almost 8,000 voters.  To date we have received over 3,400 absentee or mail-in ballot requests, which leaves almost 4,600 voters either voting in-person early voting at Town Hall from Saturday, October 17th through Friday, October 30th or voting on Election Day at Palmer River Elementary School on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

As you know, per the 8-10-2020 Vote of the Board of Selectmen, all Elections for the remainder of 2020 (9-1-2020 and 11-3-2020) will be held at the Palmer River Elementary School Gymnasium – 326 Winthrop Street (Route 44). When you arrive at Palmer River, PLEASE: Do not enter through the main entrance of the school (front of the building). Voters will line up on the black top area, which is located before the playground around the side of the building towards the back. All voters must enter from the Gymnasium Handicapped Ramp Entrance. Voters will line up by precinct*, on the blacktop, social distancing six feet apart. If you are unsure of your precinct, please either call our office at 508-252-6502 or check online at: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/VoterRegistrationSearch/MyVoterRegStatus.aspx   

In-Person Early Voting at Town Hall - What You Need To Know Before You Go: – 148 Peck Street – every day from Saturday, October 17, 2020 – Friday, October 30, 2020.  Weekend Hours are 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; Weekday Hours are Monday-Thursday – 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Friday - 8:00 a.m.-12:00 Noon.   For those of you who would like to vote in person but don’t want to wait on long lines on election day, please consider In-Person Early Voting at Town Hall. 

How You Can Save Time at the Polls
Informed voters will reduce the amount of time necessary in the voting booths and reduce lines and crowding while voting. You can view the sample ballots and questions under the “Attachments” link @ https://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/home/news/11-3-2020-election-early-voting-information.  Please check your precinct number at the voter registration search website above and know the COVID-19 Safety and Social Distancing Protocols required by the Governor @ https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-prevention-and-treatment to keep everyone healthy and safe:

  • Please do NOT go to the POLLS if you are sick or have been exposed to anyone with the virus leading up to Election Day.
  • Wear a Face Covering or One Will Be Provided.
  • Hands Will Be Sanitized Prior To Entering Voting Area or Gloves Will Be Provided.
  • Bring a Pen – Blue or Black Ink Sharpie or Paper Mate Flair (if you don’t want to borrow one).
  • Bring a Clip Board or Book to mark your ballot on (if you don’t want to use a Voting Booth).
  • Bring an ID – in some cases voters will be required to show an ID.
  • Don’t Touch Your Face while at the polling location.
  • Maintain Social Distancing – keep 6 feet away from anyone not from your household.
  • Keep your ballot dry and free from hand sanitizers – to avoid tabulator issues.

Thank you all for voting – please stay healthy and safe.  I will update you on the Town Website www.town.rehoboth.ma.us and in the November issue of the Rehoboth Reporter with the Unofficial November 3, 2020 Election Results.  Official Election results, as per Massachusetts General Law, will not be available until after November 18th.“Any ballots mailed from outside the United States that were postmarked by Election Day and received by November 13th must be counted at a meeting of the Board of Registrars, to be held no later than November 18th, which is the deadline to complete certification of your Return of Votes.”  The meeting of the Board of Registrars will need to take place prior to the election results being finalized.

2020 Dog Licenses
As of this writing, we still have 478 dogs that have not been licensed in the Town of Rehoboth.  As per State Regulations, the Animal Control Officer will need to impose fines on dog owners for those dogs who have not been registered.  Rehoboth has postponed late fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but now, as we are 6-months after the licensing date, all dogs must be registered as soon as possible.  Prompt payment now will avoid late fees and non-criminal citations being issued by the Animal Control Officer.  Please pay your $10 or $20 dog fee within the next few weeks to avoid any additional expenses.  If you are realizing a hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact either the Animal Control Officer or the Town Clerk’s Office so accommodations can be made.  As a reminder, if you are one of the 333 dog owners who received a reminder postcard, please pay as soon as possible via mail, stopping by town hall to drop off your payment and valid rabies certificate in the “drop box” outside of town hall, or by paying online at:

https://www.invoicecloud.com/rehobothgovsvcs

Please let us know if your dog is ill and can’t receive a rabies shot, has passed away or moved, we will not know unless you notify the clerk’s office 508-252-6502 x-3109 or x-3110 ~ thank you.  Unfortunately, if we do not hear from you or receive your dog’s license renewal by November 1st, we will need to start charging a non-criminal citation fee of $25 and a $15 late fee for each unregistered dog. Spayed/Neutered dogs are $10 each; not Spayed/Neutered are $20 each.  If you are over 70 years old, registration fees are waived; however, you still must keep your dog’s rabies vaccinations current and register your dog every year.  Thanks so much for renewing your dog’s 2020 license as soon as possible. 

Business Certificates
If you are filing for a new business within the Town of Rehoboth, or if you are planning to file a DBA (Doing Business As), you must first go to the Building Inspector/Zoning Officer’s office at 148 Peck Street to determine if any filings are necessary with their office prior to completing the final step of filing with the Town Clerk’s office.  The fee to file for a business certificate is $50.  The certificate is valid for four years.  Should an amendment to the business certificate be needed, a $10 fee will be charged.  For forms and additional business certificate information, please visit our town website @

http://www.town.rehoboth.ma.us/town-clerk/pages/business-certificates

Marriage Intentions – Certificates – Home Births – Death Certificates – Appointment Oaths, etc.
Please know that Town Offices continue to be closed to the Public; however, all Town Clerk Office matters are being conducted either online, through the Town Drop Box or by appointment.  The Rehoboth Clerks Office has not only been extremely busy with two (going on three) elections, we have also been processing almost 30 marriage intentions over the past few months, three home births and numerous requests for business certificates, birth, marriage and death certificates.   If you need to make an appointment with the Town Clerk’s Office, we have set aside appointment times from Monday-Thursday (9:00 a.m-4:00 p.m.).  Please call our office to schedule your appointment 508-252-6502 if you need to meet in person ~ thank you.

In closing, we look forward to seeing or hearing from you with regard to your November 3, 2020 vote; whether in-person or by mail.  Please stay healthy and safe and have a wonderful October.  Lynn, Odete and I wish you all a safe and healthy Columbus Day, Halloween and Election Day!  Happy “employment anniversary” Lynn Shaker ~ 15 years with the Town of Rehoboth as Assistant Town Clerk!  Thank you for your dedication to the town and residents of Rehoboth.

Sincerely,

Laura

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