Registering to vote
Voting is our fundamental responsibility as citizens and is one of the major ways we keep involved in our political process.
Did you know that you have a Voter’s Bill of Rights? Massachusetts voters can access a page that documents those protected rights here.
What are the requirements to register for voting?
To register to vote as a Massachusetts resident, you have to be at least 18 years old before or on election day to vote, although you can pre-register as early as 16 years old.
You must be a U.S. citizen and cannot currently be incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.
If you’re not a Massachusetts resident, check the voting requirements of your state here.
I want to register to vote online, where do I do that?
Great! Do that here.
I want to register to vote by mail.
I want to register to vote in person, where do I do that?
At your county clerk’s office. Look up your local office here.
When is the deadline to register to vote?
For the Massachusetts State Primary Election (held September 8th, 2016), you must be registered to vote by August 19, 2016.
For the General Election (held November 8th, 2016), you must register to vote by October 19, 2016.
How can I tell if I'm already registered to vote?
Good question! You can find out here.
It will also tell you what your registration status is, where to vote, who your town clerk is, and who your elected officials are.
What do I need to know about Absentee Ballots?
In order to be eligible to vote with an absentee ballot, a voter must:
- Be absence from the voter’s city or town on Election Day; or
- Have a physical disability;
- or Religious belief
MA State Primary Election Absentee Ballot REQUESTS must be made by 12PM on September 7th, 2016 and must be RETURNED (using mail, email, or online submission) by 8PM September 8th, 2016.
General Election Absentee Ballot REQUESTS must be made by 12PM on November 7th, 2016 and must be RETURNED (using mail, email, or online submission) by 8PM November 8th, 2016.
If you voted with an absentee ballot, you can track it here.
I just got out of prison, am I allowed to vote?
That's a really good question!
The answer varies widely by state and sometimes depends on the type of crime you were convicted of, whether or not you’re currently serving parol, and/or if you have legal financial obligations pending. Compounding the situation, many election officials misunderstand their own states’ disenfranchisement laws.
The State of Massachusetts restores your right to vote after you have commuted your sentence unless you were convicted of “corrupt practices in respect to elections,” in which case you would be permanently disenfranchised. If you are not a Massachusetts resident or want to read more about criminal disenfranchisement, you can start here.