Voting in Massachusetts

Voting in Massachusetts in 2020

Summary

Federal & state elections on the ballot: Governor, 8 US House members,and State Senate and House members

Ballot measures: None

The Massachusetts Elections Division , part of the Secretary of State, oversees all Massachusetts elections.

News & Events

Mass. Republicans continue to contest 2020 election results
Commonwealth , Shira SchoenbergMay 14, 2021 (Short)

Closer to home, former 5th Congressional District candidate Caroline Colarusso indicated that she too is not giving up her stance questioning the integrity of the November election.

A Worcester Superior Court judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by five losing Republican candidates, including Colarusso, challenging the election results. On Thursday, Colarusso said the group plans to file an appeal.

“Our intention is to appeal,” Colarusso told CommonWealth. “In the judge’s decision, she glossed over the constitutional issue, which is the crux of our argument.”

The Republicans had argued that the state law allowing voters to vote by mail for any reason during the COVID-19 pandemic was unconstitutional because it falls outside the constitutionally established reasons for letting voters cast absentee ballots. Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin and the Legislature have maintained that early voting by mail is different from absentee balloting, so it can have different rules.

Massachusetts lawmakers weigh bills to expand voting access
AP, Steve LeblancMay 19, 2021 (Short)

Massachusetts lawmakers are weighing whether to take some of the voting changes adopted at the height of the pandemic — including the broad use of mail-in voting — and make them permanent.

The state took that step and others — including expanding the use of early voting and ballot drop boxes — to help diminish the pandemic health risk of voters crowding polling locations.

Many of those changes proved popular, leading to a push to write them into state law.

“The pandemic is coming to an end and we have to think about whether we want to make some of these changes permanent,” said Democratic state Sen. Barry Finegold, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws.

About

Twitter

Contact

Email: Elections Division

Locations

Elections Division
McCormack Building
One Ashburton Place, Room 1705
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 1-800-462-VOTE (8683)
Fax: 617-742-3238

Web

Elections Division, Twitter

Registering to Vote

General Information

Who can register

To register in Massachusetts you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a resident of Massachusetts
  • be 18 years old on or before the next election
  • not have been convicted of corrupt practices in respect to elections
  • not be under guardianship with respect to voting
  • not be currently incarcerated for a felony conviction

How to register

  1. Use our Register to Vote form below to fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Sign and date your form. This is very important!
  3. Mail or hand-deliver your completed form to the address we provide.
  4. Make sure you register before the voter registration deadline.

Election Day registration
N/A

Voting Rights restoration

If you have been convicted of a felony and have questions about whether you can register to vote, visit Restore Your Vote to determine your eligibility.

Registration Status (form)

New Registration (form)

Voting

General Information

Voting as a Student

Learn more from Campus Vote Project about voting for students.

Overseas and Military Voting

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Voting with Disabilities

Polling places must be accessible to elderly and disabled voters. If you are permanently physically disabled and cannot cast your vote at the polling place, you may file a letter from your physician with your city or town clerk, stating that you are permanently unable to cast your vote at the polling place because of physical disability. A completed application for an absentee ballot for you to sign and return will be mailed to you by the city or town clerk at least 28 days before every primary and general election.

If you would like to vote in person, you may choose someone to assist you with entering the polling location, checking in, entering the polling booth, preparing the ballot, exiting the booth and checking out.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Early Voting

Early voting is currently available in Massachusetts only for statewide general elections on even-numbered years.  When available, early voting begins 11 days before and ends 2 days before Election Day.

Vote by Mail (Absentee)

Absentee ballot rules

You may vote by absentee ballot in Massachusetts if:

  • you will be absent from your city or town on Election Day.
  • you have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polling place.
  • you cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs
  • you are confined in a correctional facility or jail on something OTHER than a felony charge

Generally, a voter must be registered in order to vote absentee, though several exceptions exist: Those outside of Massachusetts, prisoners, and members of the armed forces or merchant marine, or their spouses or dependents, do not need to be registered in order to vote absentee.

How to get Absentee ballot

  1. Use our Absentee Ballot form below to prepare your application.
  2. Sign and date the form. This is very important!
  3. Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We’ll provide the mailing address for you.
  4. All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it’s close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
  5. Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time — simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
  6. Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.

What to do next

  • Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
  • Sign and date where indicated.
  • Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
  • Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.

Absentee ballot application deadline

By Mail: 1 day before Election Day, but we recommend applying at least 7 days before Election Day.

Absentee ballot submission deadline

Election Day

Absentee Ballot (form)

Elections Alert (Form)

Pollling Information

Polling Place Locator

If you have questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Polling Place Hours

For all elections, except local elections, the polls must be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. Some polling places may open earlier than 7:00 am. If you are in line at the polls by 8:00 pm, you are entitled to vote. For the polling hours in a local election please contact your local election officials.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Massachusetts, you must:

  • Be registered to vote in Massachusetts
  • Be entitled to compensation
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Political affiliation preferred
  • Be a resident of the county or precinct
  • Two students who are 16 or 17 years old may be appointed if they meet all other voter requirements and get permission from a parent or principal

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Elections Division

William Francis Galvin, Secretary of State.

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