What are the requirements in order to register to vote?
You must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Massachusetts, and eighteen years old on or before election day. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has no waiting period for voter registration. As soon as you move to your new address, you are eligible to register to vote.
I will be eighteen after the deadline, but before election day?
You may register to vote in the election. Your form must be submitted by the deadline, even though you will not be eighteen until after the deadline.
Are there deadlines for voter registration?
In order to vote, you must be registered 20 days before all primaries/preliminaries and general elections. Mail-in voter registration forms must be postmarked by the deadline date. These deadlines are also in effect for a change of address and a change of political party.
I live in Boston already, but I moved to another address in the City. Do I have to re-register?
A voter who moves within the City must notify the Election Department in a letter of his/her new address. This letter must have an original signature. Email notifications or faxed notifications are NOT acceptable. The letter should contain both old and new addresses, voter’s name and date of birth. Most voters prefer to use a registration form to change their address.
I was registered to vote in another town in Massachusetts. I live in Boston now. Do I have to re-register?
Yes. Voting in Massachusetts is address-based. Any time you move from one City or Town to another, you must re-register.
I want to register as an Independent but that’s not one of the choices?
Massachusetts does not use the term "Independent." Check the box for "No Party (unenrolled)."
Can an Unenrolled voter participate in Primary Elections?
Yes. An Unenrolled voter declares a party at the check-in table at your polling location. Massachusetts currently has three (3) recognized parties: Democrat, Republican and Libertarian. You will be given the ballot for the party you request. You will automatically revert to No Party (unenrolled ) status for future elections.
What is a Political Designation?
Political designations are created when fifty (50) registered voters file a form with the Secretary of the Commonwealth requesting that they, or any other voters, may change their registration to such designation (see MGL Ch. 50 Sec 1). Some of the more familiar political designations in Massachusetts include the Green-Rainbow and Socialist parties. Designations are often formed around a particular cause or ideology. Political Designation members do NOT participate in primary elections.
How do I know where to vote?
You must vote at the polling location designated for your address. Each address is assigned a Ward and Precinct Number. About 2-3 weeks after registering to vote, you should receive an acknowledgement in the mail which will confirm your registration has been processed and give the Ward and Precinct, as well as the Polling Location address where you will vote. Please make sure to remember your Ward and Precinct Number, as many polling locations house more that one precinct. You must be at the proper check-in table for your precinct in order to vote. Knowing this information in advance will make your experience go more smoothly. If you do not receive an acknowledgment notice from the Election Department, please contact the office using the information below.
Why can’t I vote at the Polling Location closest to my work or school?
Moving across a street can change your Congressional District, or your State Senate or Representative district. In order for you to receive the right ballot, you must vote at your assigned polling location.
I am going to be away at school or out of town for the election(s). How do I vote?
Please visit the Boston Election Department's website at www.cityofboston.gov/elections and click on the link for Absentee Ballot Applications. You may download an absentee ballot application or call 617-635-3767 and an application will be mailed to you. You may also vote in person at Boston City Hall, during business hours, prior to the Election. If those hours are not convenient, please contact the Department to make an appointment for in-person voting. The last hour and day to vote in person is 12pm on the Monday prior to the election.
How do I contact the Election Department?
Click Here to Contact the Boston Election Department.