How to vote in Massachusetts
This information is for the November 3rd general election. For information on the September 1, 2020 state primary, check with the Massachusetts election office. Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. All Massachusetts voters are eligible to vote by mail upon application. Massachusetts also offers early voting in person before Election Day and on Election Day. Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Who can vote
You have to register to vote before election day in Massachusetts. You can find the deadline to register to vote in the "Dates and deadlines" section.
To register in Massachusetts you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of Massachusetts
- be at least 16 years old (must be 18 years old to vote on Election Day)
- not have been convicted of corrupt practices in respect to elections
- not be under guardianship with respect to voting
- not be currently incarcerated for a felony conviction
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
Vote in person
Vote on election day
Voters registered in Massachusetts can look up where to vote on Massachusetts's site.
Massachusetts voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Saturday, October 17, 2020 to Friday, October 30, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
What to bring
- You may be asked to show identification if: 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, or if the poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification. Acceptable forms include (must show your name and address at which you are registered to vote): a MA driver's license or MA-issued ID card; recent utility bill; rent receipt; signed lease; a copy of a voter registration affidavit; or any other printed identification which contains the voter's name and address.
- Voters without ID: If you're a first-time voter who is unable to present ID when you check in, you may vote a provisional ballot and return with acceptable ID by close of polls. If you're asked for ID for any other reason, and are not able to present ID in such a situation, you must still be permitted to vote; however, your ballot must be challenged. Your ballot will be cast normally, and will only be re-examined in the case of a recount, court order, or audit.
- For more information, visit the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website.
Vote by mail
- Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application.
- Fill out the application completely.
- Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
- When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
See what's on the ballot
Get step-by-step help
TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!
Election Day registration
Massachusetts does not offer registration on Election Day.
Military and overseas voters
Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:
- Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
- Send the application to your election official.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:35 days before election - On a ship at sea: September 28, 202030 days before election - Outside of the US: October 2, 202011 days before the election - Stateside: October 23, 2020
- States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
- You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
- If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
Check your voter registration status
You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Massachusetts's voter registration lookup tool.
Dates and deadlines
- Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
- The deadline to register online to vote is Saturday, October 24, 2020.
- The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Saturday, October 24, 2020.
- The deadline to register in person to vote is Saturday, October 24, 2020.
- The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
- The early voting period runs from Saturday, October 17, 2020 to Friday, October 30, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
Election contact information for Massachusetts
Secretary of the Commonwealth
McCormack Building, One Ashburton Place, Room 1705
Boston, MA 02108