With COVID-19, there have been many changes in voting. With the president chiming in about the voting process, sharing bad info, and fear mongering he’s created additional confusion around a process that may be new to many. (But not all – let’s note that voting by mail is not new.) Let’s lay out what’s happening here in Massachusetts.
People can check their registration and/or register to vote using the online voter registration system. . If you cannot register online, you may still register without leaving your home by sending a mail-in voter registration form to your local election office. If you need to register to vote in person, contact your local election official about their ability. The voter registration deadline for all elections in 2020 will be 10 days before any election.
Voting By Mail
In July, legislation was passed to allow all registered voters in Massachusetts to vote by mail in any 2020 election, with no excuse needed. As required by the new law, a Vote by Mail application will be mailed to every person who was registered to vote by July 1 and who had not already requested an absentee ballot for the State Primary or for all elections this year. A second mailing will be sent out in September to all voters who have not already applied for a Vote by Mail ballot for the November election. The applications are pre-addressed to your local election official and no postage is necessary.
Vote by Mail applications must be delivered to your local election office no later than 4 business days before the election. For a November election ballot, your application must reach your local election office no later than October 28. Vote by Mail applications are available for download and may also be requested by contacting the Elections Division.
You can find more information on voting by mail on our Voting by Mail FAQs page.
To assist with limiting crowding at polling places, there will be additional days of early voting this year.In-person voting for the November 3 State Election will take place over 15 days, with 14 days of early voting being held October 17-30. All cities and towns will be required to offer early voting on Saturday, October 17, Sunday, October 18, Saturday, October 24 and Sunday, October 25.
Early voting schedules and locations will be posted at www.MassEarlyVote.com at least one week before early voting begins.
If you have been admitted to a healthcare facility within 7 days of an election, or you have been instructed by a medical professional or public health official to self-quarantine in your home within 7 days of an election, you may use the absentee ballot application to designate someone to pick up your emergency absentee ballot, deliver it to you, and return it to your local election official.
There is no deadline to submit an application for an emergency ballot, but your ballot must be returned to your local election office by the close of polls.
How can people find their own voting information? State and local election offices! MA local election offices