Massachusetts Election Law

Related Information

Voter Registration

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
MethodOnline, by mail, and in person.No ChangeNo Legislative Activity
DeadlineTwenty (20) days prior to election. No ChangeNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticYesNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Same DayNoNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity

Absentee Ballot Application

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ExcuseAbsence, physical disability, and religious reasons. No excuse neededNo Legislative Activity
AutomaticNoNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
DeadlineNoon the day before electionNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Valid for X# of CyclesSame cycle onlyNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity

Absentee Ballot Return (other than by mail)

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Voter IDNot requiredNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
In PersonYesNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Drop BoxNot mentioned in statutesNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity
Return DeadlinePoll closure on election dayNo ChangesNo Legislative Activity

Ballot Harvesting

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
ProhibitedNoNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Limited 3rd PartyFamily member or healthcare facility employee. No ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Paid Political OperativesNot allowedNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity

Early Voting

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
By MailYesNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
In PersonYesNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity

Voter Identification - Absentee Ballot

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Signature VerificationYesNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Witness StatementNo No ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Other---
Cure ProcessVoters have until deadline to submit a new ballot if there is an issue with their old one. No ChangeNo Legislative Activity

Voter Identification - In Person

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Photo IDNot requiredNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Other OptionsNon-photo ID also allowedNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Provisional BallotsMust be replaced by a new ballot before end of election day. No ChangeNo Legislative Activity

Voting Day

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Hours6:00 AM to 8:00 PMNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Wait TimeNot mentionedNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Electioneering250 feetNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Other---

Voter Rolls

 Pre-COVIDDuring 20202021 Legislative Activity
Update FrequencyUpdated continuouslyNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity
Voter RemovalDeath or movingNo ChangeNo Legislative Activity

With election reforms stalled on Beacon Hill, some would-be voters are left out

August 31, 2021

One of the most interesting — and potentially transformative — Boston elections is just around the Labor Day corner. But for those who may have newly arrived in town or those just awaking to the reality of the hottest of mayoral races but didn’t register to vote by last week’s deadline, well, they’ll have to sit this one out. (Those wanting to vote in the Nov. 2 final will have until Oct. 13 to register.)

That long lead time is as unfortunate as it is unnecessary. Election Day voter registration is no longer some pie-in-the-sky radical idea — technological advances have helped make it not only possible but also nearly foolproof. And if the Massachusetts Legislature didn’t work at its usual glacial pace, it could have already been the law here.

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