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Massachusetts Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in Massachusetts

To register to vote in the State of Massachusetts, an individual must meet the following qualifications

  • You are a citizen of the United States;
  • You are a resident of Massachusetts, and
  • You are 18 years old on or before election day (must still meet registration deadlines)
  • You are not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote in Massachusetts?

How Do I Register To Vote in Massachusetts

Voting At The Polls On Election Day

WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION FOR VOTING

You may be asked to show identification at the check-in table 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.

You will not be required to present photo identification. For a full listing of acceptable forms of identification, please see our page on Identification.

Learn more about Voting at the Polls on Election Day

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Massachusetts

Both Democrats and Republicans hold Semi-closed Primaries

Voters enrolled in a political party (Democratic, Green-Rainbow or Republican) may only vote in that party's pramary.Unenrolled voters (registered voters not enrolled in a political party commonly refered to as "independent") may vote in the primary of their choice and remain unenrolled after voting. All races' primaries open for unenrolled or unaffiliated voters.

When you register to vote, you may choose to enroll in a political party or political designation or may choose to remain "unenrolled," which is commonly referred to as independent. If you do not enroll in a party, you may still vote in state and presidential primaries by choosing a party ballot and will remain unenrolled.

If you enroll in any of these four parties you may vote only in that party’s primary. Enrollment in a political party does not affect your right to vote in the general election. In the general election, all voters receive the same ballot and vote for the candidate of their choice, regardless of party enrollment.

Once you make an enrollment choice you may change your enrollment status by notifying your election official in writing at least 20 days before an election.

Click here for additional information

Who Can Vote Absentee in Massachusetts

In order to be eligible to vote by absentee ballot in Massachusetts, a voter must be prevented from voting at their polling place on Election Day, due to:

  • Absence from the voter's city or town on Election Day; or
  • Physical disability; or
  • Religious belief.

Early voting will be available for biennial November state elections only, beginning with the November 8, 2016 State Election.

Applying for Absentee Ballots

  • Absentee ballots must be requested in writing by either the voter or the voter's family member. For convenience, absentee ballot applications may be downloaded from this page; however, any written communication evidencing a desire for an absentee ballot is acceptable. If you would like to request an absentee ballot, you may submit an application or a signed letter to your local election official. If you are requesting an absentee ballot for a family member, be sure to submit the request to the voter's local election official.
  • When completing the application, you may indicate whether you are requesting a ballot for a specific election, or if you will be needing a ballot for all elections this year. Please note that absentee ballot applications expire at the end of each calendar year. If you are a voter with a permanent physical disability, you may file a note from your doctor to that effect with your local election official. Voters with permanent physical disabilities are sent completed applications at the beginning of each year, to be signed and returned to their local election official.
  • All requests for absentee ballots must be received by your local election official no later than 12 p.m. on the day before the election for which the ballot is being requested. Applications may be submitted in person, by mail, fax, or by e-mail; however, the local election official must be able to view the signature of the person requesting the ballot. If the application is being submitted by e-mail, a scanned copy of the request must be submitted.

Voting

  • If you are voting by mail, you should be sure to submit your application in a timely manner. Please allow enough time for the ballot to be mailed to you and for you to return the ballot by Election Day. All ballots being mailed from inside the United States must be received by your local election official no later than the close of polls on Election Day.
  • If you would like to vote in person, you may do so in the office of your local election official. In-person absentee voting should be arranged ahead of time.

When Absentee Ballots are Counted

  • Except for ballots which are rejected as defective, all absentee ballots are cast and counted by the poll workers on Election Day. Absentee ballots are included in the final tallies, and are counted whether or not an election contains a close race.

Learn more about Absentee Voting

What If My Address Has Changed

Voting from a Previous Address

  • State law allows voters who have moved within Massachusetts to vote in state elections and primaries from a previous address for up to six months, as long as they have not registered at a new address. If you have moved from one community in Massachusetts to another, and you have not registered to vote at your new address, you may vote at your previous polling place. Please note that this does not apply to local elections.

College student

  • At School. Students can establish residency in Massachusetts if they have a present intention to remain at their Massachusetts school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home. Any other interpretation of the residency laws is unconstitutional.[4] Massachusetts courts have long interpreted the law to allow students to establish residence in their college towns.[5]

Learn more about Movers and college students Voting

Have A Question?

One of MyTime2Vote's top priorities is providing our citizens access to all of the latest State and Federal election information.

We're currently updating the following pages

  • State Ballots for this year election cycle
  • State Voting Guide
  • Elections Calendar
  • States Summary

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check Massachusetts upcoming elections schedule

Poll Hours: 7:00 AM-8:00 PM

In all state elections and primaries, polling places must be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., though towns are allowed to open as early as 5:45 a.m. Voters who are in line when polls are closed at 8 p.m. must be allowed to vote. For municipal elections, polling hours will vary by city and town. Check with your local election official for polling hours for your municipal election.

How can I find my polling location?

If you do not know where your polling place is,you can use www.wheredoivotema.com io find your election information. If you have any issues or questions, please contact your County Clerk

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

NO: Massachusetts does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

No owner, superintendent or overseer in any manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment shall employ or permit to be employed therein any person entitled to vote at an election, during the period of two hours after the opening of the polls in the voting precinct, ward or town in which such person is entitled to vote, if he shall make application for leave of absence during such period.

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