Massachusetts

Upcoming Elections

2022-08-17 – Registration Deadline

Wed Aug 17, 2022 8:00PM EDT

2022-08-26 – Early Voting Starts

Fri Aug 26, 2022

2022-08-30 – Ballot Request Deadline

Tue Aug 30, 2022 5:00PM EDT

2022-09-02 – Early Voting Ends

Fri Sep 2, 2022

2022-09-06 – Ballot Return Deadline (Received by)

Received by Tue Sep 6, 2022 8:00PM EDT

Last updated: April 2022

Voting in Massachusetts

When You Can Vote

Election Day:

Polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, although towns are allowed to open as early as 5:45 a.m.  You can find your polling place here:  https://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx.  Check with your local election official for polling hours.  Your local election official can be found here:  https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleclk/clkidx.htm.

 In-Person Early Voting:

For the 2022 Primary Election, voters can vote early beginning on Friday, September 9, 2022, through Friday, September 16, 2022.

For both the Primary and General Elections, every city and town in Massachusetts will have a designated early voting site whose location and hours will be published by the town or city registrar at least one week before early voting begins. 

For more information on in-person early voting, please see: “Absentee & Early Voting.”

Absentee Voting:

Applications: Absentee ballots must be requested in writing by August 30, 2022.  To qualify for an absentee ballot, you must: be away from your city/town on Election Day; have a disability that keeps you from voting at your polling place; or have a religious belief that prevents you from voting at your polling place on Election Day.  Voters are encouraged to return their applications as early as possible. 

Ballots:  Absentee ballots must be received by the close of polls on Election Day (i.e., 8 p.m. September 6, 2022) if mailed from within the United States. If mailed from outside of the United States, they must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 5 p.m. ET on September 16. If you’re hand-delivering your ballot to your local election office or dropping it in a drop-box, it needs to be returned by 8 p.m. EST on September 6, 2022.

Emergency ballots, which may be requested up until the close of polls on Election Day, must be returned by the close of polls as well.  Overseas and military voters voting absentee may also return their ballots via fax or e-mail, but the ballots must be received by 8 pm ET on September 6, 2022.For more information on Voting by Mail or absentee voting, please see “Voting Early, By Mail & Absentee” and “If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter.”

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place: Please visit the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s polling place locator webpage to find your polling place.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines: The deadline to register to vote for this year’s Primary Election is Wednesday, August 17, 2022.  Absentee ballot applications must be received by August 30, 2022 for the 2022 Primary Election.

How to Check Your Registration: Use Massachusetts Registrant Search website or call 1-866-462-VOTE.

 Registration Eligibility: In order to be eligible to register in Massachusetts, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States;
  • Establish residence in Massachusetts;
  • Not be currently incarcerated for a felony conviction; and,
  • Voters must also be eighteen years of age or older to vote. However, sixteen-year-olds and seventeen-year-olds can preregister in-person, by mail, or online using the same form as other registrants. Preregistered people will become automatically eligible to vote at age eighteen.

As of January 1, 2020, if you are a Massachusetts citizen conducting certain transactions through the Registry of Motor Vehicles, MassHealth, or the Commonwealth Health Connector and you do not opt out of registering to vote, you will automatically become registered to vote.

If you do not opt out of registering, you will automatically be registered to vote when you:

  • Apply for or renew a driver’s license.
  • Apply for or renew a learner’s permit.
  • Apply for or renew a state ID.
  • Apply for MassHealth benefits online, in-person, or by phone.
  • Apply for health insurance through the Commonwealth Health Connector.

There is no duration of residence requirement in Massachusetts; you may register the first day that you move to the state.

 How to Register: Massachusetts residents may register in-person, by mail, or online.

Online

In order to register to vote online, you must have a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you have a Massachusetts driver’s license or state ID card, your signature is on file. Applicants can apply to register on the Secretary of State’s website.

By Mail

In order to register to vote by mail, you must obtain a mail-in registration form by:

  • Downloading a mail-in form from the Secretary of State’s website; or
  • Requesting a form by contacting the Elections and Voting Division in the Secretary of State’s office (1-800-462-8683).

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.

In-Person

You may register to vote in-person in any of the following ways:

  • When applying for or renewing your driver’s license or State Identification Card;
  • At your local town clerk’s office; or
  • At the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.

Voter registration forms completed in-person are valid as of the day that they are signed.

Identification Required for Registration

Voters must either submit a copy of their identification with their voter registration or they may be asked to present it at their polling place on Election Day. For information on valid forms of identification, see “Identification Requirements.”

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

You may be asked to provide identification if you are a first-time voter in a federal election in Massachusetts, an inactive voter, or casting a provisional or challenged ballot, or if a poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification. You do not need a photo ID.

Valid forms of ID must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote.  Valid forms of ID include:

  • Valid Massachusetts driver’s license or non-driver ID card;
  • Valid state-issued ID;
  • Valid U.S. passport;
  • Valid U.S. military ID card containing a photo
  • Recent utility bill, rent receipt, or lease
  • Copy of voter registration affidavit
  • Any other printed identification which contains the voter’s name and address where they are registered to vote

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Voters must update their voter registration every time they move.  Voters should update their address by submitting a new voter registration form.  If a voter moves after the deadline to register to vote in a state election or primary, then the voter should update their registration after the election or primary and vote at their previous polling place in Massachusetts. State law allows you to vote from a previous Massachusetts address in a state election for up to six months after you have moved, as long as you have not registered elsewhere. Individuals who have moved to Massachusetts from another state after the registration deadline are ineligible to vote.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

Military and other overseas citizens may use the standard procedure for absentee voting by mail, but there are also special provisions for members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, along with family members of all these groups, and other citizens who reside outside the United States (together these groups are called UOCAVA voters).  For more information on Voting Absentee, see “Voting Early, By Mail & Absentee.”

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s webpage.

The spouse, roommate, parent, in-laws, brother, sister, son, daughter, stepparent, stepchild, half-sister, half-brother, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, grandparent or grandchild may request that a ballot be sent to an overseas or military voter using this form.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by U.S. Mail or electronic transmission.  To request election transmission of the blank ballot, UOCAVA voters must mark the appropriate box and provide an email address on the State of Massachusetts “UOCAVA Application for Absentee Ballot” or on the FPCA webpage. Ballots must be returned via U.S. Mail, commercial carrier, or by hand delivery.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters. You can use this FWAB whether you are located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided that you are away from your voting residence for service-related activities.  You must apply for a regular ballot early enough for your local election officials to receive the request at least 5 days before the election.  If you do not receive your regular ballot in time, you may use the FWAB.  Your FWAB must be received by your local voting officials in Massachusetts no later than noon on Election Day.  For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s Massachusetts-specific FWAB page.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

If You Have a Felony Conviction

A person who has been convicted of a felony may vote unless they are currently incarcerated.

Have questions or need more information? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683)!

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