Massachusetts Voting Information
- Absentee Ballot Process
- Campaign Finance Information
- Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
- Drop Boxes
- Early Voting
- Election Dates
- Eligibility Requirements
- ID Needed for Voter Registration
- ID Needed for Voting?
- Official Results
- Overseas and Military Voters
- Poll Worker Information
- Polling Place Hours
- Polling Place Locator
- Provisional Voting
- Provisions for Voters with Disabilities
- Registration Deadline
- Time Off To Vote
- Verify Voter Registration
- Voting Machines
Absentee Ballot Process
Absentee voting is available and no excuse is required. The last day to request an absentee ballot is 4 days before the election. You can return your absentee ballot request form through the mail, in person, by fax, by email or online. However you return it, the local election official must be able to see your signature in order to approve the request. Voted ballots must be received by Election Day in order to be counted. You can sign up to track your absentee ballot on your Secretary of the Commonwealth website.
Those who requested an absentee ballot but end up voting in person: You can vote in person as long as you haven't already voted by mail. If you choose not to return your mail-in ballot, you can vote in person on Election Day or during early voting. You can also vote in person if you mail your ballot and it does not reach your election office by Election Day or if your mail-in ballot is rejected for any reason. Do not mail a ballot and vote in person.Request your Ballot
Campaign Finance Information
Candidate and Ballot Measure Information
To see a list of available races, visit the race index.
Early voting is currently available in Massachusetts only for statewide general elections on even-numbered years. When available, early voting begins 11 days before and ends 2 days before Election Day.
To be eligible to vote, you must be:
- A US citizen
- A resident of Massachusetts
- At least 18 years old on or before Election Day (you can pre-register to vote at age 16)
- Not be under legal guardianship with respect to voting, in prison for a felony, or convicted of election fraud (even if the prison term is completed)
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.
- 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?
If you are voting for the first time in a federal election, are an inactive voter or are casting a provisional or challenged ballot, you may be asked to provide ID at the polls. You are also required to show an ID if you're voting for the first time after registering by mail and did not include a copy of your ID in your mailed in registration form.
Acceptable forms of ID are:
- Driver's license
- State issued ID card
- Recent utility bill
- Rent receipt
- Copy of voter registration affidavit
- Any other printed ID that contains your name and address
Official results are never available on Election Day. Election officials are working around the clock to count an unprecedented number of ballots, and it’s essential that they take the time to make sure every vote is counted.
Official election results will be uploaded the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth website as they become available.Official Results
Overseas and Military Voters
You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.
If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.
Poll Worker Information
In order to be a poll worker in Massachusetts, you must:
- Be registered to vote in Massachusetts
- Be entitled to compensation
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Political affiliation preferred
- Be a resident of the county or precinct
- Two students who are 16 or 17 years old may be appointed if they meet all other voter requirements and get permission from a parent or principal
Polling Place Hours
For all elections, except local elections, the polls must be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
Polling Place Locator
If you have questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.
You may vote a provisional ballot if you meet specific conditions.
Your name is not on the list. If you believe you're registered to vote, are at the correct polling place but your name does not appear on the voting list. You can ask the poll worker to contact the city or town hall to confirm your registration. If your registration is not verifiable, you may cast a provisional ballot.
Incorrect party enrollment. If you are voting in a party primary and believe that your party enrollment is incorrect as listed, you can vote a provisional ballot for the party you believe you are registered with.
Unable to provide ID. If you are not able to provide the proper ID, you may cast a provisional ballot. Your ballot will not be counted until you return with ID to the polling place or the office of your local election official by the close of polls.
Provisional ballots are counted 12 days after the election.
Provisions for Voters with Disabilities
Polling places must be accessible to elderly and disabled voters. If you are permanently physically disabled and cannot cast your vote at the polling place, you may file a letter from your physician with your city or town clerk, stating that you are permanently unable to cast your vote at the polling place because of physical disability. A completed application for an absentee ballot for you to sign and return will be mailed to you by the city or town clerk at least 28 days before every primary and general election.
If you would like to vote in person, you may choose someone to assist you with entering the polling location, checking in, entering the polling booth, preparing the ballot, exiting the booth and checking out.
For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.
You can now register online! If you have a valid driver's license, learner's permit or non-driver ID issues through the Massachusetts RMV you can register using this page. If you do not have these forms of ID you can still use this page to fill out your form, print and mail the application to the appropriate election official.
You must register to vote at least 20 days before an election, 10 days before a special town meeting.
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 statusclick here!
The voting systems used in Massachusetts are optical scan and hand counted paper ballots.
Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.
Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used in a few places 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.
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