Voting in Massachusetts
Voter Registration In Massachusetts
Who Can Register In Massachusetts
To register to vote in Massachusetts, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 16 years old
- Not be currently incarcerated for conviction of a felony
You must register to vote at least 20 days before the election or regular town meeting you wish to vote in. For special town meetings, the deadline is 10 days before the meeting.
Massachusetts Election Day Registration
Massachusetts does not offer Election Day registration, so be sure to submit your voter registration before the deadline.
You can pre-register to vote in Massachusetts when you turn 16.
Voting Rights Restoration
Massachusetts does remove voting rights for people with felony convictions. Voting rights are automatically restored upon release.
If you have a past conviction, learn more about your eligibility to vote here.
Voting In Massachusetts
Where To Vote In Massachusetts
Vote-by-mail & Absentee
COVID-19 UPDATE: Voting by mail will be allowed in all local and state elections through December 15, 2021. You do not need to have an excuse to cast an early ballot by mail.
Voters can typically only vote absentee/by mail in Massachusetts with an approved excuse. Approved excuses include:
- Be away from your city/town on Election Day, including by being a military voter on active duty, residing outside of the United States, having been admitted to the hospital within 1 week of the election, having been quarantined within 1 week of the election, or being incarcerated.
- 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
Early Voting In Massachusetts
Massachsetts offers early voting. Voters do not need an excuse to vote early. Early voting begins the eleventh business day before an election and ends one business day before election day.
Primary Elections In Massachusetts
Massachusetts has open primaries. Registered unaffiliated voters may choose one party's primary ballot to vote on and will remain unaffiliated for future elections. Voters enrolled with a party must vote in their party’s primary. 17-year-olds cannot vote in the primary election even if they will be 18 by the corresponding general election.
Voter ID In Massachusetts
Voter ID Requirements
Photo ID is usually not required to vote in Massachusetts. However, you may be asked to show identification when you check-in at your polling place for any of the following reasons:
- You are voting for the first time in Massachusetts in a federal election;
- You are an inactive voter;
- You are casting a provisional or challenged ballot;
- The poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification.
Valid forms of ID include:
- driver's license;
- state-issued ID card;
- recent utility bill;
- rent receipt;
- copy of a voter registration affidavit;
- any other printed identification which contains the voter's name and address.
If you are voting for the first time in a federal election in Massachusetts after registering to vote by mail, you may be required to show identification under federal law. It is recommended that you include a copy of your identification with your mail-in voter registration form; if you choose not to do so, you may be asked for identification when you go to your polling place on Election Day. If you are unable to present identification when you check-in, you may cast a provisional ballot and return later with identification. If you do not return with acceptable identification by close of polls, your ballot cannot be counted.
You may also be asked to show identification if you are on the list of inactive voters or if a poll worker has reasonable cause to request it. If you are not able to present identification in such a situation, you must still be permitted to vote; however, your ballot must be challenged. This means that your name and address, the name and address of the challenger, and the reason for the challenge must be written on your ballot. You ballot will be cast normally, and will only be re-examined in the case of a recount, court order, or audit.
Additional Massachusetts Resources
Your State Election Official
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
William Francis Galvin
Phone number: 617.727.2828