Everything you need to know about voting in Mass.

From registration to casting a ballot, here's all the information voters need.

alt = white voting booths with American flags on them in a wood-paneled gymnasium
FILE — Primary election voting booths at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Academy in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, on Aug. 23, 2022. Anna Watts/The New York Times

The Massachusetts general election is set for Nov. 8, 2022, when races like governor, secretary of state, and state auditor will be decided.

If you’re looking to fulfill your civic duty in the Bay State, here is everything you need to know.

Voter registration

If you’re a U.S. citizen, at least 16 years old, not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction, you’re eligible to register as a voter. There are registration options in-person, online, and by mail. 16 and 17-year-olds are able to pre-register to vote, while those 18 and up are able to vote in the next election.

Registration deadlines

The last day to register to vote in Massachusetts is Oct. 29 – in all its forms. Registration by mail must be postmarked by that date. If you’re registering in-person at a local election office, the deadline is 5 p.m. The online deadline is 11:59 p.m. Unlike other states, you cannot register to vote on election day.


Don’t remember if you’ve registered to vote? You can check your status here.

In-person voting

Every precinct in Massachusetts is assigned a specific voting location — you can find yours here. All polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day, but some locations open as early as 5:45 a.m. If you’re still in line to vote at 8 p.m., don’t leave — all voters in line must be allowed to cast their ballot. There are also accessibility measures in place for voters with disabilities — for more information, click here.

Early voting

For those looking to beat the crowds, Massachusetts offers early voting in-person or by mail. This year’s timeframe for early voting lasts from Oct. 22 to Nov. 4. Each city or town sets its own locations and schedules for early voting — the secretary of state suggests checking your local municipal websites for more information. 

Mail-in voting

To vote by mail, you need to submit an application to your local election office virtually or physically. Mail-in ballots must be requested by Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. Once the ballot has been filled out, it can be returned in several ways; through the mail (the state provides an envelope — no postage required), hand-delivered to a local election office or early voting location, or dropped in a local ballot drop box. You can track the status of your mail-in ballot here.

Military and overseas voting

Overseas citizens, as well as active-duty military and their families, are exempt from voter registration in Massachusetts. If you fall into one of these categories, you can submit an absentee ballot request using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). 

How to vote

The secretary of state’s office has a comprehensive guide for first-time voters or those who may need a refresher. When you enter your voting location, get in line to check in. You will be asked for your name and address, and possibly a form of identification. Once you’re checked in, you are able to mark and cast your ballot. The check-out process is similar to that of check-in — you will be asked for your name and address again. If you are registered with a political party, this will also be asked at check-in and check-out.

What to bring

Identification is the only thing voters need — acceptable forms of ID must display your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. Some examples include a Mass. driver’s license, a signed lease, or a recent utility bill. If you are unable to present ID, you are still permitted to vote with a provisional ballot.

What’s on the ballot

The Massachusetts general election is shaping up to be pivotal for the state. The race to replace Charlie Baker as governor pits former attorney general Maura Healey against Trump-backed Geoff Diehl. Other races that will be determined on Nov. 8 include lieutenant governor, secretary of the commonwealth, state auditor, and the Suffolk County DA.


This year’s ballot also includes a series of initiatives, or questions that affect Massachusetts residents’ daily lives.

Question 1, known by some as the “millionaires tax,” would add an additional 4% tax on income over $1 million. The extra funds would be put toward education and transportation. Read more here.

Question 2 pits dentists against insurers, proposing that dental insurance companies should spend 83% of their monthly premiums on patient care. Read more here.

Question 3 affects liquor stores, enacting measures that include increasing the total number of alcohol licenses a retailer can have, while decreasing the number of stores that can sell all types of alcohol. Read more here.

Question 4 lets voters decide if immigrants are eligible for a Massachusetts driver’s license, whether they are living in the country legally or illegally. Read more here.


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