Voter Registration in Massachusetts
Those wishing to register to vote in Massachusetts have several options open to them. Voter registration is the process for Massachusetts residents to make sure they are eligible to vote in any elections held in their districts, whether for local, state or federal levels. One may register by doing so online, by visiting in person at a local election office or by using the regular U.S. mail service to send in your registration.
Registering to vote may also be done through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Simply find the RMV office nearest to your home address and walk in to register in person. If you complete your registration at an RMV office, be sure to hold on to your receipt until you receive confirmation from your local election office to ensure that you are indeed registered and that there are no complications due to some delay or mistake in paperwork.
Who can register to vote in Massachusetts?
In order to register and receive a voter registration card in Massachusetts, you must be eligible to vote in the state. You may register or pre-register in Massachusetts if you meet the following requirements:
- You are a lawful United States citizen.
- You are at least 16 years of age.
- You are not currently incarcerated due to a felony conviction.
Those who meet the above guidelines may legally register to participate in elections in the state.
Massachusetts Voter Registration Deadline
The deadline for registering to vote in any election or for any town meeting in Massachusetts is 20 days prior to the day the election is held. For special town meetings, you must complete your registration 10 days before the meeting is held.
How to Register to Vote in Massachusetts
You may register to vote in Massachusetts through several methods. These include the following:
- Online registration – This may be done using the state’s online portal. You must have a signature on file with the RMV. You may use the online application process if you have a driver’s license or even a state ID card.
- Registration by mail – If you prefer to complete your voter registration by mail or you are unable to register online, simply print out a registration form and then complete and sign it. Make sure it is postmarked no later than the deadline for registration.
- Registering in person – If you prefer, you may register in person by visiting your local election office. You may also register by using the office for the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
- RMV – Those wishing to register to vote may also use the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) offices as an option.
Early Voting in Massachusetts
Those who wish to vote ahead of the official election date may do so in Massachusetts. You do not need any particular reason for doing so. Regular voting locations typically allow for early voting, although a list of those locations accommodating any voters wishing to cast their ballots early will be posted online in October before the elections take place.
Massachusetts Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-Of-State Residents
Massachusetts residents who for whatever reason reside outside the state and are not able to complete a voter registration in Massachusetts have several options available depending upon individual circumstances. This applies to people serving in the military as well as those attending school outside of Massachusetts. However, this does not excuse anyone from meeting deadlines for registering.
You may be asking yourself, “How do I register to vote?” if you live outside of Massachusetts. You may request the Massachusetts forms used specifically for this purpose if you are:
- An active military member.
- A dependent of an active military member.
- A U.S. citizen living overseas.
The forms can be submitted through regular U.S. postal service, fax, email or online.
Massachusetts Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
For those voters living outside the state of Massachusetts who remain eligible to vote in the state, any methods mentioned above is adequate for registering to vote. College students attending school outside the state may either register in their home state or decide to register in the state in which they are enrolled in school. Voters should register in the place they consider their permanent residence.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in Massachusetts
Massachusetts voters may need to change some of their information with the election office from time to time. Most changes to voter registration are fairly easy to complete. Needing to change voter registration address information is relatively common, but it is by no means the only change residents may have to make. Often, people must change their names with the election office, or sometimes they may wish to switch their affiliation with a political party.
A voter registration change of address must be requested whenever you move within the state of Massachusetts. If you do change your address, you must notify the office of elections in writing if you move within the same town or city in which you reside. If you move to a different town or city within the state, you must complete a new registration application. You must also complete a new voter registration application if you decide to change your name, your party affiliation, or any other pertinent information on your registration.