Upcoming Elections

2024-08-24 – Registration Deadline (In-Person Request by)

In-Person Request by Sat Aug 24, 2024 5:00PM

2024-08-24 – Early Voting

From Sat Aug 24, 2024 to Fri Aug 30, 2024

2024-08-24 – Registration Deadline (Postmarked by)

Postmarked by Sat Aug 24, 2024

2024-08-24 – Registration Deadline (Online by)

Online by Sat Aug 24, 2024 11:59PM

2024-08-26 – Ballot Request Deadline

Request to Receive Blank Ballot by Mail by Mon Aug 26, 2024

2024-09-03 – Ballot Return Deadline

Tue Sep 3, 2024 8:00PM

2024-09-06 – Ballot Return Deadline (Postmarked by ED + Post received by)

Postmarked On or Before Election Day and Received by Fri Sep 6, 2024

Last updated: February 2024

Voting in Massachusetts

When You Can Vote

On Election Day the polls must be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Municipalities can, at their discretion, open polls as early as 5:45 a.m. Voters should contact their local election officials to find out if their polls will be open before 7 a.m. on Election Day.

Where You Can Vote

The Massachusetts tool for finding a voter’s polling place can be found at

On Election Day, voters should go to their assigned polling place.

Registering to Vote

Voters may register to vote online or download a registration form.

Generally, any United States citizen who is at least sixteen years old and a resident of Massachusetts is eligible to register to vote. However, people under guardianship, currently incarcerated for a felony, or disqualified by law because of corrupt practices in respect to elections, cannot register.

In Massachusetts, a voter’s residence is the place that the voter considers to be their principal home.

Early Voting and Voting by Absentee Ballot

There are no requirements that a registered voter must meet to vote early or use a vote-by-mail ballot. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts also mails applications for Vote by Mail ballots to all registered voters.

Registered voters may apply for a vote-by-mail ballot online through the Mail-in Ballot Application System or may download and print a Vote by Mail Application in several languages.

Registered voters may also call 1-800-462-VOTE (8363) to have an application mailed to them. A completed application for a vote-by-mail ballot may be mailed, faxed, emailed or hand-delivered to the local election office.

Mail ballots are only mailed to voter’s registered addresses.  Voters who will be away and need the ballot mailed to a different address should apply for an absentee ballot instead. The application for an absentee ballot can be downloaded or printed from the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website in various languages:
Each municipality chooses its own in-person early voting locations and sets their own schedule. Voters should contact their local election office to obtain this information.

Identification Requirements

There are no ID requirements specifically for a voter that is casting their ballot by mail. 

There is no generally applicable ID requirement. However, a voter may be asked to show identification when they check-in at their polling place if:

  • They are voting for the first time in Massachusetts in a federal election.
  • They are on the inactive voter list because they failed to respond to their local annual census or to a follow-up inquiry from local election officials.
  • They are casting a provisional or challenged ballot.
  • The poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification.

ID must include the voter’s name and address. Examples include current and valid (not expired) photo identification, such as a driver’s license or state ID, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.

A voter who needs to show ID because it’s their first time voting and is unable to provide acceptable identification when requested must be given the opportunity to vote by provisional ballot. The voter must return to the polling place with acceptable identification before the polling place closes or the ballot will not be counted.

If a voter needs to show ID for any other reason and isn’t able to do so, they can cast a challenged ballot. The voter’s name and address, the challenger’s name and address, and the reason for the challenge will be written on the voter’s ballot. The ballot will be cast as normal and only examined if there is a recount, court order, or audit. 

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 prior to the registration deadline (February 24, 2024, for the Presidential Primary). If they miss the deadline, the voter may vote at their old polling location for state and national – not local – elections, for up to 6 months after they move. If the voter misses the deadline and the move was more than 6 months prior to the election, they may not vote.

Individuals who have moved to Massachusetts from another state after the registration deadline will not be able to vote in Massachusetts but may be able to vote in the state from which they moved.

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

The Federal Voter Assistance Program and Massachusetts law establish special procedures to facilitate voting by citizens residing outside the US and members of the U.S. Armed Forces and merchant marine, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and NOAA, along with family members of all these groups who are stationed away from voting Massachusetts residence.

Voting Residence

For overseas voters, their voting residence is their last residence in the US and if they never lived in the US, their parents’ last US address.  For military voters, their voting residence is where they were last registered or their address at the time of enlistment. 

Registration and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

These voters do not have to be registered to receive a ballot.  They can apply for a ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), the Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application (NOT the Mail Ballot Application), or by sending a written request for an absentee ballot to their local election office. They must request their ballot by the deadline for requesting a mail ballot: 5 PM, February 27, 2024. The application may be scanned and Faxed or emailed. Absentee ballot applications are valid until December 31 of the year they are submitted. Voters need to submit a new absentee ballot application every year in which they want to vote.  Voters who have missed the deadline may be able to use the Federal Write-in Ballot.

Receiving an Absentee Ballot

UOCAVA voters may receive their blank absentee ballots by mail, Fax or an online portal. The Federal Post Card Application has a box for voters to check how they wish to receive their ballot.

Ballot Return 

Voters can also choose to return their ballot by email/online, by fax, or by mail. Ballot deadlines are different depending on the type of election and how the ballot is returned. For Primaries, the ballot must be received by the close of polls on election day.  For the General Election, ballots returned electronically must be received by the close of polls on election day. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by election day. If mailed from inside the U.S., they must be received within 3 days of election day. If mailed from outside the U.S., ballots must be received within 10 days of election day. 

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot is a back-up ballot that can be used by UOCAVA voters. It is a blank ballot, which voters may use to vote for any candidate or ballot question.  If the voter does not receive their regular ballot in time, they may use the FWAB. It may be used even if the voter has not applied for a ballot.  It may be submitted by mail, email or fax, and must be received by the voter’s local voting officials in Massachusetts no later than noon on Election Day. 

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Felony Convictions

Persons currently incarcerated for a felony cannot vote. However. Their voting rights are automatically restored upon release from custody. People on parole or probation, even for a felony, can vote. A person previously incarcerated for a felony must re-register after completing their sentence before they can vote.

Currently Incarcerated Voters

A person who is incarcerated for a felony may not vote. Individuals incarcerated for other reasons—including people civilly committed, serving a misdemeanor sentence, and people who are detained pretrial—may vote by absentee (not mail) ballot. If a voter is incarcerated, they do not need to register to vote absentee. Instead, the voter can vote by absentee ballot as a “specially qualified voter.”

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