Instructions for voting

Unsure where to start? Follow the steps below.

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    How To: Register to Vote

    Voter registration requirements and deadlines. Register to vote

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    How To: Vote

    Find out how, where, and when to vote. How to vote

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Get Out The Vote!

How to Register to Vote

Register Online

You’ll need your Massachusetts driver’s license or state ID card and a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Register Online


Check if you’re registered to vote

sec.state.ma.us

1. Get the voter registration form.

Download and print the Massachusetts registration application.

Get the form


2. Fill out the form

Step 1 · Check boxes for whether you’re a US citizen and will be 18 years old on or before Nov 8

Steps 2–3 · Provide your full name and, if applicable, your former name

Steps 4–5 · Provide your residential address and mailing address (if different)

Step 6 · Provide your date of birth

Step 7 · Provide your Massachusetts driver’s license number. If you don’t have one, provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you have neither, write “none” in the box.

Step 8 · (Optional) Provide your phone number and whether you want the number to be “unlisted.” If you don’t check “unlisted,” your phone number will be a public record.

Step 9 · Provide your party enrollment or designation

Step 10 · (if applicable) Provide the address where you were last registered to vote

Step 11 · (if applicable) If you’re unable to sign the form, provide the name and address of the person helping you

Steps 12–14 · Sign and date the form

Step 15 · If you don’t provide a driver’s license or Social Security number, provide one of the following with your registration or when you vote:

  • Current photo ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Other government document showing your name and address

3. Send the form.

Mail your completed form by Oct 19 to your local election official


Check if you’re registered to vote

sec.state.ma.us

1. Get the voter registration form.

You can get the voter registration form at the following locations:

  • Any city or town clerk’s office
  • Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Election Division office
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles
  • Military recruitment offices
  • All state agencies that provide public assistance

2. Fill out the form

Step 1 · Check boxes for whether you’re a US citizen and will be 18 years old on or before Nov 8

Steps 2–3 · Provide your full name and, if applicable, your former name

Steps 4–5 · Provide your residential address and mailing address (if different)

Step 6 · Provide your date of birth

Step 7 · Provide your Massachusetts driver’s license number. If you don’t have one, provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you have neither, write “none” in the box.

Step 8 · Provide your phone number (optional) and whether you want the number to be “unlisted.” If you don’t check “unlisted,” your phone number will be a public record.

Step 9 · Provide your party enrollment or designation

Step 10 · (If applicable) Provide the address where you were last registered to vote

Step 11 · (If applicable) If you’re unable to sign the form, provide the name and address of the person helping you

Steps 12–14 · Sign and date the form

Step 15 · If you don’t provide a driver’s license or Social Security number, provide one of the following with your registration or when you vote:

  • Current photo ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Other government document showing your name and address

3. Return the form.

Return the form by Oct 19 to one of the locations described above


Check if you’re registered to vote

sec.state.ma.us

Registration requirements

  • Be a US citizen
  • Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
    Starting Aug 1, 2016, you may pre-register if you’re at least 16 years old
  • Live at a Massachusetts address
  • Not be under guardianship or incarcerated in a correctional facility due to a felony conviction
  • Not be temporarily or permanently disqualified from voting because of corrupt practices in respect to elections
Online
October 19

Mail
October 19

In Person
October 19

How to Vote

Vote early
Oct 24–Nov 4

Contact your local election official for locations and times.


Vote on Election Day
Nov 8

Polls are open 7 AM–8 PM. If you’re in line by 8 PM, you’re allowed to vote.

In some towns, voting may begin as early as 5:45AM

Be sure to bring an accepted form of ID, if required.


Who can vote early

Any voter registered in Massachusetts is eligible to vote early in person.

Who can vote by mail

You may vote absentee in Massachusetts if you’re:

  • Absent from your polling place during regular polling hours
  • Physically disabled and cannot travel to your polling place
  • Unable to vote in person because of a religious belief
  • Unable to vote in person because you are in a correctional facility for a non-felony conviction
  • An active member of the armed forces or merchant marines
  • The spouse or dependent (for example, child) of an active member of the armed forces or merchant marines


1. Get the absentee ballot application

Download and complete the Massachusetts official absentee ballot application.

Get the form


2. Fill out the form

Step 1 · To receive an absentee ballot for the general election, check the “an election” box and write Nov 8, 2016

Step 2 · Provide your name

Step 3 · Provide your address

Step 4 · Provide the address where you want your ballot mailed, or select an alternative delivery method

Step 5 · Provide your birthday

Steps 6-7 · (Optional) Provide your phone number and email address

Steps 8-9 · Sign and date the form


3. Submit the form

Return the form by mail, fax, or email to your local election official so it’s received no later than 12 PM on Nov 7


4. Vote
  • Once you receive your ballot, follow the instructions to fill out the ballot and return envelope
  • Mail the completed ballot to the address on the return envelope so it’s received by Election Day, Nov 8 at 8 PM
  • Check the status of your ballot on wheredoivotema.com
Absentee ballot received by

November 8


Vote on Election Day

November 8

Polls are open 7 AM–7 PM. If you’re in line at your polling location by 7 PM, you’re allowed to vote.

Bring an accepted photo ID

Voting requirements
  • Be registered to vote in Massachusetts. Check if you’re registered to vote.
  • Be a US citizen
  • Be a Massachusetts resident
  • Be 18 before or on Nov 8
  • Not incarcerated for a felony on Election Day

ID requirements

You may need to show ID if one of the following applies to you:

  • You’re voting for the first time in Massachusetts
  • Your registration status is inactive because you haven’t voted recently
  • The poll worker has some reasonable suspicion that leads them to request ID
  • You have to complete a provisional or challenged ballot at the polls

If asked to show an ID to a poll worker, you may show one of the following documents that shows your name and address:

  • A Massachusetts driver’s license
  • A Massachusetts-issued ID
  • A recent utility bill
  • A signed lease
  • A rent receipt
  • A sworn statement that you’re a registered, active voter
  • Any other document showing your name and address

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are registering for the first time in Massachusetts, you must include a copy of your ID with your voter registration form. If you forget, you’ll need to provide ID the first time you vote in person or by absentee ballot. Acceptable identification includes: a copy of a current and valid photo identification OR a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows your name and Massachusetts address.
You do not need to provide ID if you’ve already voted in Massachusetts at least once. If you are a first time Massachusetts and you did not include a copy of your ID with your voter registration form, you must include a copy with your absentee ballot application. Acceptable identification includes: a current and valid photo identification and Massachusetts address OR a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document that shows your name and address.