Registration Deadline: In order to vote you must be registered:
- 20 days before all primaries and elections, and/or
- 10 days before a special town meeting.
Party Affiliation: Members of political parties may vote only in their own party's primary elections. Unenrolled voters (commonly referred to as "Independents") and members of political designations or minor parties may vote in the party primary of their choice. Choosing to vote in a particular party's primary does NOT enroll you as a member of that party.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: May be 16 years old to register. Must be 18 years old on Election Day to vote.
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
Residency: Must be a resident of Massachusetts
Felony Convictions: Must not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction
ID Requirements: If you are registering to vote or voting for the first time you must send identification that includes your name and the address at which you are registered to vote, some acceptable forms include:
-Current and valid driver's license number or State issued identification number;
-If you do not have a current and valid Massachusetts driver’s license, you must provide the last four digits of your social security number.
If you choose not to provide one of these, you may be asked for identification when you go to your polling place on Election Day.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
Online: If you currently have a Massachusetts driver's license or state ID card, you may use the Online Voter Registration System.
In person: You may register in person at any local election office, as well as the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office. Voter registration is also available as part of every transaction at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and at certain public assistance agencies. Voter registration forms completed in-person are valid as of the day that they are signed.
By mail/ in writing: Mail-in registration forms are widely available. To obtain a mail-in registration form click here and or please call 1-800-462-VOTE and a form will be sent to you. The form must be completed, signed, and delivered to your local election official. Voter registration forms submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than the voter registration deadline.
By fax: Contact your local board of elections for faxing options.
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
Verify here: voter registration status
ABSENTEE BALLOT QUALIFICATIONS
Who can vote absentee: You may vote by absentee ballot if you:
- will be absent from your city or town on election day, and/or
- have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place, and/or
- cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs.
OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Online: Download an absentee ballot application (Spanish) OR Short Form Absentee Ballot Application and mail a completed form to your local election office.
In person: Visit your local election office, where forms are available to fill out in person.
By mail: Apply in writing to your city or town clerk or election commission and include your:
- address as registered,
- ward and precinct (if you know them),
- address where you wish the absentee ballot sent,
- in a primary, the party ballot you want, and
- your signature.
Absentee ballot applications must be received by your local election office by 12 p.m. on the day before the election, unless the day before the election is a holiday or a Sunday, in which case the application must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the last business day before the election.
Military and overseas voting: If you are a UOCAVA citizen in the military or overseas you may register to vote and receive an absentee ballot by applying for the FOCA (Federal Post Card Application) and turning it in no later than noon the day before the election. Application and additional information can be found on Voting for Military and Overseas US Citizens. Like other absentee voters, you also have the option of using the Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application or any other written request for an absentee ballot.
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Location and time: To be counted, a completed ballot must be received by the time the polls close on Election Day.
If you are voting from outside the United States, your completed absentee ballot for a final state or city election can be received up until 10 days after the election, but must be postmarked on or before Election Day.
Verifying Registration: online or contact your local board of elections
Deciding how to vote: https://votesmart.org/
Polling Place: Massachusetts polling place locator
You may be asked to show identification when you check-in at your polling place for any of the following reasons:
-You are voting for the first time in Massachusetts in a federal election;
-You are an inactive voter;
-You are casting a provisional or challenged ballot;
-The poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification.
Acceptable identification must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. Examples of acceptable identification include:
-a driver's license,
-state-issued ID card,
-recent utility bill, rent receipt,
-a copy of a voter registration affidavit, or
-any other printed identification which contains the voter's name and address.
Problems with voting: If you feel that your right to vote has been violated in any way, call the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683)
Verifying provisional ballot status: Call the Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division at 800-462-8683 or 617-727-2828 or ask your local municipal election official. The information will be available seven days after a primary election and twenty days after a general election. Or contact your local election official.
Verifying absentee ballot status: Call the Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division at 800-462-8683 or 617-727-2828 or ask your local municipal election official. The information will be available seven days after a primary election and twenty days after a general election. Or contact your local election official.