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Voting and Elections Guide

Nonpartisan information on city, state, Congressional, and presidential elections and candidates

VOTE

Did you know that if you can get your friends and allies to pledge to vote, you increase the probability that they will actually turn out to vote?

A study found that pledging to vote increased voter turnout by 3.7 to 5.6 points. 

Here are some organizations which are sponsoring pledge to vote campaigns. Pledge with one or more of them, and encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to vote. 

American Civil Liberties Union

Black Lives Matter

Every Vote Counts

Environmental Voter Project

GLADD

NextGen America

Rock the Vote

Where do I vote?
Click here to find your polling place. 

When will the elections be held? 

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, the general election will take place. 

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?
Polls will be open from 7am to 8pm. If you arrive at your polling place by 8pm, you will be allowed to vote. Polling places will stay open until every voter who has arrived by 8pm has cast their vote.

If you are concerned that your schedule may preclude you from voting on November 5, consider voting by absentee ballot. Contact the Elections Department for more information.

What will the ballot look like?
Most cities and towns have a facsimile ballot (sometimes called a sample or specimen ballot) on the city or town's official web page that you can view before you vote. The ballot will include town or other local officials who are on the ballot, as well as the candidates on the ballot for the US Congress and for the President. Click here to find your town's website. 

What do I bring with me to my polling place? Will I need to bring ID? (The information below is from the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts):

In general, you do not need to show any form of identification to vote in Massachusetts.

The exception is if you are voting for the first time or for the first time in a new polling place.  If you registered to vote by mail and did not send in a copy of your identification with your voter registration form, or if you registered during a third-party voter registration drive, you will be required to show identification when you vote for the first time.

You have the right to vote but must also show identification if your name is on the inactive voter list or your vote is being challenged or if requested by a poll worker.

Acceptable identification must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote, for example: a current and valid driver’s license, photo identification, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or 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 (see below) which will be counted later, but only after your eligibility to vote has been determined.

What if I moved recently?
State law allows voters who have moved within Massachusetts to vote in state elections and primaries from a previous address for up to six months, as long as they have not registered at a new address. If you have moved from one community in Massachusetts to another, and you have not registered to vote at your new address, you may vote at your previous polling place. Please note that this does not apply to local elections.

What if my name isn't on the list of voters?
If your name does not appear on the list of voters and your registration cannot be verified, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. For more information, see information on provisional voting. If you have moved recently from within Massachusetts: state law allows voters who have moved within Massachusetts to vote in state elections and primaries from a previous address for up to six months, as long as they have not registered at a new address. If you have moved from one community in Massachusetts to another, and you have not registered to vote at your new address, you may vote at your previous polling place. Please note that this does not apply to local elections.

What else should I know?
All voters in Massachusetts cast paper ballots. When you arrive at your polling place, you check in and give your name and address to a poll worker. Then you will get a ballot. Mark your ballot. Then you check out, meaning that you give your name and address to another poll worker. Then you will either place your ballot into a box, or feed it into a machine that will tabulate your vote. You're done!

Your right to vote is protected.

Massachusetts Voters Bill of Rights.

If you feel that your right to vote has been violated in any way, call the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683). This call is free within Massachusetts.

 

All registered voters in Massachusetts have the option to vote by mail. 

For the 2020 Election, mail-in voting is being extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The deadline for submitting an absentee ballot (in person) is 8:00 PM on Election Day. If mailing in your ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day and received by 10:00 AM on the 2nd Friday following Election Day. 

Early voting is available for biennial state elections. The next election for which early voting will be available is the November 3, 2020  US Presidential and in the State Election.

 

Early voting is available by mail and in person to all registered voters. No excuse is required.

Early voting by mail will begin as soon as ballots are ready.

In-person early voting for the State Election will be held October 17-30.