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Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: 10 days before Election Day


  • General Municipal Election Registration Deadline: October 28

  • General Municipal Election: November 7

For additional information on upcoming state special elections, please visit:

Official Election Websites

More election information at:

Online voter registration available at:

Mail-in PDF voter registration available at:

Register at School or Home

Students have a decision about where to register to vote.

You have a right to register to vote at the address you consider the place where you live, whether that is your family's home or the place where you attend school. You should update your registration anytime this home address changes.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

To complete your voter registration online, you must have a Massachusetts-issued driver’s license or ID number. If you do not have an ID issued by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, you must register by mail or in person.

Massachusetts’ mail-in voter registration form asks for your Massachusetts driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Massachusetts does not require ID to vote.

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at:

How Can I Vote?

Vote By Mail

Massachusetts allows any registered voter to request a Vote by Mail Ballot for most elections. To apply, you may submit a signed application to your local election office online, by mail, by email, or by fax.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the 5th business day prior to Election Day; however, apply as soon as possible to allow enough time to receive, complete, and return your ballot. You may access the online application or a pdf paper application to be submitted by mail, email, or fax through the below links.

Online Vote by Mail application:

PDF Vote by Mail application:

Once you have received and completed your Vote by Mail Ballot, you may return it by:

  • Mailing it back using the envelope provided; or

  • Hand-delivering your ballot to your local election office; or

  • Dropping your ballot off at an early voting location during early voting hours; or

  • Using a ballot drop box provided by your city or town.

Your ballot must be received by your local election office by the close of polls on Election Day. Please note that Vote by Mail ballots cannot be dropped off at a polling place on Election Day. You must use one of the above-described methods of delivery.

Use the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Track My Ballot tool to check the status of your ballot, including the date it was mailed, the date it was returned, and whether your ballot was accepted or rejected.

Absentee Voting

Although Vote by Mail ballots are more common and may be used by any voter, there are some instances where a smaller number of qualified voters may vote by absentee ballot instead. All registration and ballot return deadlines are the same for absentee ballots as they are for Vote by Mail ballots. Please refer to those rules outlined in the Mail-in section above.

You are eligible to vote by absentee ballot if:

  • You will be away from your city or town on Election Day, including voters who are on active military duty, living outside the U.S., incarcerated for a reason other than a felony conviction, attending institutions of higher education, among others;

  • You have a religious belief that prevents you from voting at your polling location on Election Day;

  • You have a disability that prevents you from voting at your polling location.

Election Day

Voting sites will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for statewide elections, but some municipalities may open their polling places earlier. Contact your local clerk to verify polling hours. If you are in line by the time polls close, you have a right to vote.

Common Questions/Concerns

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

Federal Financial Aid

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.

Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.

Tuition Status

Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.

Will registering to vote in Massachusetts affect my driver’s license or car registration?

As a new resident of Massachusetts, you may be required to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license or update your car registration, regardless of whether you register to vote there. For more information, you may wish to contact the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Massachusetts legal professional.


Last updated May 2023

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