Voting in Massachusetts
This page contains information on voter registration and early and absentee voting. If your question or concern isn’t answered, please contact the Town Clerk, Laurie Lucier, at 413-369-4235 x4 or by email at email@example.com.
To vote in Massachusetts, one must be a United States citizen, a resident of Massachusetts, and at least 18 years old on or before Election Day.
The deadline for registration is 20 days prior to the election. A voter can register online, by mail, or in person at any registration office or the Registry of Motor Vehicles. A form of identification is required to register. The following are acceptable forms of identification:
- Valid driver’s license
- State-issued identification card
- Current utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government-issued check
- Any other government document displaying the voter’s name and address
See also: Online voter registration
Massachusetts has implemented an online voter registration system. Residents can register to vote by visiting this website.
See also: Voter identification laws by state
Most voters in Massachusetts are not required to present identification at the polls. Only first-time voters who registered by mail are required to do so. Valid forms of identification include both photo and non-photo identification.
As of April 1, 2019, 35 states enforced (or were scheduled to begin enforcing) voter identification requirements. A total of 17 states required voters to present photo identification; the remainder accepted other forms of identification. Valid forms of identification differ by state. Commonly accepted forms of ID include driver’s licenses, state-issued identification cards, and military identification cards.
See also: State poll opening and closing times
In Massachusetts, most polling places are open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. However, municipalities may open their polls as early as 5:45 a.m. An individual who is in line at the time polls close must be allowed to vote.
Primary election type:
See also: Primary elections in Massachusetts
A primary election is an election in which registered voters select a candidate that they believe should be a political party’s candidate for elected office to run in the general election. They are also used to choose convention delegates and party leaders. Primaries are state-level and local-level elections that take place prior to a general election. Massachusetts utilizes a hybrid primary system. Unaffiliated voters are allowed to vote in the primary election. They may choose which party ballot they wish to vote on and still remain unaffiliated.
Note: Presidential primary and caucus types can differ. See this article for further details about 2016 presidential primaries and caucuses.
See also: Absentee voting
In Massachusetts, a citizen is eligible to vote absentee in an election if he or she cannot make it to the polls on Election Day because he or she will be absent from the city, is disabled, or is prevented from voting at the polling place for religious reasons.
To vote absentee, an application must be received by noon on the day before the election. The ballot must then be returned by the close of polls on Election Day.
See also: Early voting
Massachusetts permits no-excuse early voting. Learn more by visiting this website.
Early voting permits citizens to cast ballots in person at a polling place prior to an election. In states that permit no-excuse early voting, a voter does not have to provide an excuse for being unable to vote on Election Day. States that do not permit no-excuse early voting may still permit some citizens to vote early, provided that they have valid reasons for doing so; this practice is known as in-person absentee voting. As of January 30, 2018, 34 states and the District of Columbia permitted no-excuse early voting.
Convicted Felons’ Voting Rights:
See also: Voting rights for convicted felons
Voting rights for convicted felons vary from state to state. In the majority of states, convicted felons cannot vote while they are incarcerated but may regain the right to vote upon release from prison or at some point thereafter.
Massachusetts – – Voting rights are restored to a convicted felon immediately upon completion of prison sentence.