Massachusetts

Registration Deadline

The registration deadline before the November 8, 2022 General Election is October 29, 2022. Voter registration deadlines  The deadline to register ... Read More

Upcoming Election Dates & Registration Deadlines

Some elections in this list are local and do not apply for all Massachusetts voters. Please click the “View all” button below to view all election dates in your state.

Next Election: General
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
General

Registration Deadlines

Saturday, October 29, 2022
By Mail (postmarked)
Saturday, October 29, 2022
In Person
Saturday, October 29, 2022
There are no additional election dates scheduled at this time.

More Resources

Ballot resources icon
Find what's on your Ballot
Location icon
Find your Polling Place
Computer icon
Register to vote in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Voting Information

Absentee Ballot Process

Massachusetts now offers unrestricted voting by mail for all state primaries and general elections. 

The state sends mail ballot applications to all registered voters 45 days before the election. If you do not get an application, you can download and print the application here2022 Vote by Mail Application (state.ma.us) Note that if you are not enrolled in the Democratic or Republican parties, you must specify on the application which primary ballot you want. Applications for mail ballots must be received in your town or city election office by 5 pm Monday, Aug. 29, for the Sept. 6 primary election, and 5 pm Tuesday, Nov. 1, for the Nov. 8 general election. If you want a mail ballot, apply as soon as possible. 

Permanent Vote-by-Mail:

You can indicate on your mail ballot application if you want a mail ballot for all future elections in the calendar year, and you will not have to apply again. 

Returning your Ballot:

Once you receive your mail ballot, follow the instructions for filling it out and returning it. You can return it by mail in its postage-paid envelope. You can take it to your town or city election office. Or you can put it in an official ballot drop box. Find election offices and drop box locations here: Elections: Find My Election Office (state.ma.us). You can also drop it at early voting locations when those polls are open. You cannot leave a mail ballot at polling places on Election Day. 

Mail ballots for the primary election must be received by 8 pm on Election Day, Sept. 6. Mail ballots for the general election on Nov. 8 must be received by 5 pm the third day after the election and be postmarked on or before Election Day. Ballots must be received in the election office; they cannot be left at polling places on Election Day. 

Use Track My Ballot  Track My Ballot: Search (state.ma.us) to determine the status of your mailed ballot.  

You can still vote in person if you've applied to vote-by-mail. You can vote at an early voting location or your polling place on Election Day. You can't vote in person if your local election office has already accepted your ballot. You can't take your ballot back or vote again. 

Click here for more information on voting by mailElections: Absentee Voting (state.ma.us) 

Absentee ballots 

Absentee voters use the same ballots as mail voters and have the same deadlines for returning their ballots. Most voters who qualify for an absentee ballot can choose instead to apply for an early Vote by Mail ballot. Some circumstances require an absentee ballot application. You should fill out an absentee ballot application if: 

  • You are a US citizen residing overseas; or 

  • You are on active military duty; or 

  • You are currently incarcerated for a reason other than a felony conviction; or 

  • You are requesting an emergency absentee ballot due to hospitalization. 

Emergency Absentee Ballots 

Suppose you have been admitted to a healthcare facility within one week of the election. In that case, you may use the absentee ballot application to designate someone of your choice to deliver a ballot to you. The person you designate to deliver your ballot will need to bring the signed application to your local election office, pick up your absentee ballot, bring it to you, and return it for you by the close of polls on Election Day. Emergency ballots may be requested up until the close of the polls. 

 

Request your Ballot
Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets

For information on state campaign contributions and financing, visit the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. OCPF - Welcome to the OCPF Home Page 

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

To see a list of available races, visit the Vote411 race index for Massachusetts 

Drop Boxes

Use this directory to find your local election office or drop box for returning your mail ballot. Ballots may be delivered in person to your local election office, a secured municipal drop box in your city/town, or any early voting location in your city/town during early voting hours.  Ballots may also be mailed via US Postal Service. Mail ballots cannot be delivered to the polls on Election Day; they must be taken to the election office on that day. 

Early Voting

In-person early voting is now available for both state primary and general elections.   

For the 2022 elections, early voting dates are: 

  • September 6 primary election:  August 27 to September 2 

  • November 8 general election: October 22 to November 4 

Hours and locations for early voting vary by city and town, but must include some weekend hours.  Check with your local election office  Elections: Find My Election Office (state.ma.us) for specific hours and locations.  Those hours and locations will also be posted on the Secretary of State’s website starting five days before early voting begins.  

Election Dates

The Massachusetts elections scheduled in 2022 are: 

  • Tuesday, September 6—Primary election 

  • Tuesday, November 8—General election 

The next election dates can be found here https://www.vote411.org/massachusetts.

For more information visit your election center or contact your local board of elections.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote, you must be:

  • You must be a United States citizen. 
  • You must be 18 to register to vote.  You can pre-register to vote at 16 and will be automatically moved to the voting rolls when you turn 18. 
  • You must not currently be incarcerated for a felony. 
  • There is no state residency requirement to vote in Massachusetts. 
ID Needed for Voter Registration

You must attach identification to your voter registration form if you are registering to vote for the first time. If you registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003, you will be required to show identification when you vote for the first time in a federal election. However, you can also send in a copy of your identification with your voter registration form. Acceptable identification must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote.

Examples include:

  • A current and valid driver's license
  • State issued identification card
  • A current utility bill
  • A bank statement
  • A paycheck
  • A government check
  • Other government document showing your name and address

If you send in a copy of your identification with your mail-in voter registration form, it may not be returned to you. 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.

If you provide your driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number on the voter registration form and those numbers are verified, you will not have to provide identification when you register to vote or at the polls. If you do not provide those numbers or if they cannot be verified (you will notified by your town or city clerk if that happens), then you have to provide identification either at town or city hall prior to the election or at the polls when you vote. Acceptable identification is a copy of any of the following:

  • Current and valid photo identification
  • Government check or official document showing name and address
  • Current utility bill showing name and address
  • Paycheck or stub showing name and address
ID Needed for Voting

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. 

Acceptable identification must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. Examples of acceptable identification include:

  • a driver's license
  • state-issued ID card
  • recent utility bill
  • rent receipt
  • lease
  • a copy of a voter registration affidavit
  • any other printed identification which contains the voter's name and address

It's a good idea to bring identification when you go to the polls. 

You are never required to show a photo ID to vote in Massachusetts. 

For additional information on identification requirements and provisional ballots, see the Secretary of State's website hereElections: Identification Requirements (state.ma.us) 

Voters can call or text 844-338-8743 at any time to reach VoteRiders Voter ID Helpline.

Official Results

Official results are never available on Election Day.  Mail ballots postmarked on or before Election Day are counted in general elections if they arrive by 5 p.m. the third day after the election. Ballots from military voters are also counted if they arrive after the election.   

Official election results are uploaded to the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website as they become available. 

Official Results 

Official Results
Overseas and Military Voters

Complete information for military and overseas voters on how to receive a ballot and cast that ballot is here.  Elections: Military and Overseas Voters (state.ma.us)   

Poll Worker Information

Poll workers are needed!  Local election officials hire poll workers.  Contact your town clerk or city election officer for information on eligibility, hours, training, and an application.  You can find that contact information hereElections: Find My Election Office (state.ma.us) 

If local election officials need additional poll workers, they can hire people regardless of where they live, their voter status, or their party affiliation.   Students age 16 and 17 may be eligible to be poll workers. 

Poll workers are paid for the hours they work. 

 

Polling Place Hours

For all elections, except local elections, the polls must be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. Voters in line at 8 p.m. are entitled to vote. 

Polling Place Locator

To find your polling place, go to Where Do I VoteMy Election Info: Search (state.ma.us) 

Primary Election Process

Primary Election Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Massachusetts has an open primary system. You can only vote using that party's primary ballot if registered with a specific party. If you are not enrolled in any political party, you can choose which party's primary ballot to cast. 

If you are unenrolled in a party and apply for a mail ballot for the primary election, you must specify which party ballot you want.   

Provisional Voting

Voters who find that they are not on the list where they believe they are registered to vote or find that they are listed incorrectly, have the right to cast a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are sealed in an envelope and kept separately from other ballots until the voter's eligibility can be determined. If a provisional voter is determined to be registered, their ballot is unsealed and counted; if the voter is determined to be ineligible to vote, the ballot is destroyed without being examined. 

If you are in the correct precinct and your name is not on the list, ask the poll workers to contact the city or town hall to confirm your registration. If you have moved within the same city or town and you are still registered to vote at a previous address, you should vote at the polling place where you appear on the list. State law allows you to vote from a previous address if you have moved within a municipality. 

Your local election official may also check to see if you are registered in another city or town. If you have moved from one city or town to another municipality in Massachusetts, state law allows you to vote from your previous address for up to six months, as long as you have not registered to vote elsewhere. 

You will need to show identification to cast a provisional ballot, so it is a good idea to bring identification when you go to the polls. 

For detailed information about provisional ballots, click hereElections: Provisional Ballots (state.ma.us) 

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

All polling locations and early voting sites in Massachusetts are required to be accessible. Voting locations must provide access on a permanent or temporary basis on Election Day and throughout early voting. Voting assistance and absentee voting offer options that persons with disabilities may use to vote, but they are not considered substitutes for actual accessibility to the voting location. Accessible voting provides the same opportunity for access and participation to persons with disabilities as for other voters. 

A voter can choose someone to assist in entering the polling location, checking in, entering the voting booth, preparing the ballot, exiting the booth, and checking out. 

Voting via mail or absentee ballot at home is another option. Contact your local election official at least five days before an election to arrange for an electronically accessible mail ballot. 

If you have a disability that prevents you from marking a paper ballot, please contact your local election official. 

Both federal law and state requirements mandate that voting systems be equipped for voters with disabilities allowing such voters to have the same opportunity to vote privately and independently. It is required that every precinct must have at least one accessible voting machine available. 

There is at least one accessible marking unit in every polling place and early voting location in Massachusetts. The AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminals are marking devices that use audio cue capacity for visually impaired voters. The AutoMark also has a feature that will greatly magnify the ballot or display the ballot high contrast for voters that have limited visual impairment. The AutoMark can also produce an oral report to the voter as the choices are selected prior to the voter printing the ballot. 

The Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is committed to making voting as accessible for all voters. Please let us know how we can improve accessibility by calling us at 800-462-VOTE (8683) (toll free) or 617-727-2828. For deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired please contact us at TTY: 1-800-720-3480. You may also e-mail us at elections@sec.state.ma.us 

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Registration Deadline

The registration deadline before the November 8, 2022 General Election is October 29, 2022.

Voter registration deadlines 

The deadline to register to vote is 10 days before the election.  Local election offices are open until 5 p.m. on the final day to register: 

Verify voter registration status 

You can verify your voter registration status online here.  My Voter Registration Status: Search (state.ma.us) 

Automatic voter registration 

If you are a U.S. citizen applying for or renewing a driver's license or state ID at the RMV, or applying for health insurance through MassHealth or the Commonwealth Health Connector, you will be automatically registered to vote, unless you opt out of registering. 

New Citizens 

If you are a new citizen who was naturalized after the last day to register to vote, you may register to vote in person at your local election office until 4 p.m. on the day before the election. You should bring documentation to show that your naturalization ceremony occurred after the voter registration deadline. 

For more detailed information on voter registration, see the Secretary of State’s website.  Elections: Voter Registration Information (state.ma.us) 

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

Time Off To Vote

Voters employed in mechanical, manufacturing or mercantile businesses are allowed time off during the first two hours after the polls have opened only if an application for absence has been submitted.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status

click here!
Voting Machines

The voting systems used in Massachusetts are optical scan and hand-counted paper ballots. 

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a paper ballot, which you take to a private table or booth. The ballot has the names of the candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or marker, you fill in a little box or circle next to your choices. When you are finished, you bring the ballot  to a tabulator, where poll workers will show you how to insert your ballot.   The tabulator checks your ballot and counts the votes at the end of Election Day. 

Hand-counted Paper Ballots: Hand-counted paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used in a few small towns on Election Day. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box. 

These systems use paper ballots which allow for recounts and post-election audits. 

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.

Personalized voting information

  • See What's On Your Ballot
  • Check Your Voter Registration
  • Find Your Polling Place
  • Discover Upcoming Debates and Forum in Your Area

Get Started

Massachusetts Department of State

Secretary of the Commonwealth

1 Ashburton Place

McCormack Room 1705

Boston 2108


Get Involved With
LWV of Massachusetts

LWV volunteers work year-round to register new voters, host community forums and debates, and provide voters with election information they need.

Learn More