The most important part of any election is you: the voter. Below find all of the information you need to know leading up to Election Day.
This information was obtained from the Secretary of State’s Office. This digest is intended to guide you, but please visit the Secretary of State’s Office website for complete information.
Wednesday, October 13, is the last day to register to vote and to change party enrollment for the State Election on November 2.
Eligibility and Requirements
You may register if you are:
- a US citizen, and
- a resident of Massachusetts, and
- 18 years old on or before Election Day.
There is no waiting period to be eligible to register to vote. If you move, you may register to vote as soon as you move into your new home. If you have moved within the same city or town, notify your local election office of your new address in writing. If you have moved to a new city or town, you must register again.
Register in Person
You cannot register to vote via the Internet, but you can request a voter registration form to register to vote in Massachusetts through the Secretary of State’s Office. To ensure that you meet the deadline to vote in the December 8 Primary, we encourage you to register in person. Registration locations include any local election office in any city or town, or any registration event in Massachusetts. (View a Massachusetts City and Town Directory from the Secretary of State’s Office.)
You may also register when applying for or renewing your driver's license at the Registry of Motor Vehicles or when applying for service at a designated voter registration agency.
Registration forms are also available at all colleges, universities, high schools and vocational schools.
If you are registering to vote for the first time in Massachusetts, you are required to attach identification to your voter registration form. For full details and requirements, including what is considered acceptable identification, visit the Secretary of State’s Office website. If you do not provide such identification, the Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires that you may only cast a provisional ballot which will be counted later, but only after your eligibility to vote has been determined.
To find your election information, visit the Secretary of State’s website and complete the online form. The website will generate information about your polling location, contact information for your local election official, and a comprehensive list of your elected officials (statewide office holders and district representatives).
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. The deadline for applying for an absentee ballot is noon of the day before the election.
You can apply for an absentee ballot in writing to your city or town clerk or election commission (include your name; address as registered; ward and precinct; address where you wish the absentee ballot sent; in a primary, the party ballot you want; and your signature).
Download forms from the Secretary of State (PDFs, in English and Spanish):
- Absentee Ballot Application
- Peticion de Voto en Ausencia
A family member of a person qualified to vote by absentee ballot may apply in the same manner for you. Download forms from the Secretary of State (PDFs, in English and Spanish):
- Absentee Ballot Application by a Family Member
- Peticion de Voto en Ausencia para un Familiar
Ballots will be mailed to you. You may mail or hand-deliver it back to the election office but must arrive before the close of the polls on Election Day (8:00 p.m. for state elections).
If you cast your ballot at the clerk's office before Election Day, call ahead to ensure that absentee ballots are available. They should be available three weeks before an election. You can make your application and cast your vote in one visit.
Federal law requires all polling places be accessible.
If you are permanently disabled, you may vote at home by applying to your local election office. File a letter from your doctor with the town or city clerk or election commission. The doctor must state that you are permanently unable to cast your ballot at the polling place due to a physical disability.
The local election official will automatically mail you an application for an absentee ballot for all elections in a calendar year. You must sign the application and send it back to your local election official.
Call your local election official for information about how to register to vote at home or to request that a mail-in registration form be sent to you.
If you cannot read or write English, you can vote as long as you are registered. You may ask any person of your choice to help you or you may request help from the election officials at the polling place.