Complete guide to voting in the 2020 election.

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Election day is Tuesday, November 3rd and this year's election is about a lot more than Trump vs. Biden. In addition to the presidential race, Massachusetts voters will be considering two ballot questions, one on the right to repair your car and another regarding ranked choice voting (more on the questions here).

Here is everything you need to know in order to vote in the 2020 election.

Are you registered to vote? 

Check your registration status here: www.RegistertoVoteMA.com

If you are not registered, you must register to vote by October 24th, 2020. Any changes to your voter information including new address information must be completed by that date. 

Need to register?

Registering to vote is quick and easy. 

Register online at www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. You will need your drivers license or Massachusetts state ID card in order to register online. 

Register by mail. You can request a voter registration card by calling 1-800-462-VOTE (8683). Your mail-in voter registration must be postmarked or delivered to your town hall by October 24th. 

Register in person. You can register at your local town election office which is usually located in your city or town hall. You can locate your local election office here: www.sec.state.ma.us/ele. All local election offices must offer in-person registration on October 24th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Your best bet though is to not wait until the last second by registering ASAP!

Ways to vote.

Vote by mail:

This year, MA residents can vote by mail without providing a special reason. If you’ve already applied to vote by mail, your ballot will be sent to you soon. You can track your ballot here: www.TrackMyBallotMA.com.

How to vote by mail: 

  1. Apply

You can apply to vote by mail by using this website: www.MailMyBallotMA.com after checking your registration status as described in the previous section.

You can request that a paper application be sent to you by calling the Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683). 

You can also apply by simply writing a letter to your local election official. The letter must include your name, the address where you are registered to vote, the address where you want the ballot mailed, and your signature.

  1. Submit your application

Submit your application as soon as possible. All applications must be in to your local election office by October 28th. To be safe though, you should not wait until the last minute to do this!

Applications may be submitted online, by mail, email, fax, or in-person. You can find contact information for your local election office at www.sec.state.ma.us/ele.

  1. Look for your ballot in the mail

Ballots will start being mailed in early October, so keep your eyes peeled for it!

  1. Return your ballot

If you return your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked by November 3, 2020 and it must reach your local election official by November 6, 2020 in order to be counted. DON’T WAIT TO DO THIS! YOU CAN SEND IN YOUR BALLOT AS SOON AS YOU VOTE!!!

Your Vote by Mail ballot package will include a pre-addressed, postage pre-paid return envelope for you to use to return it to your local election office. You may also return your ballot in person to the local election office. Many election offices have special boxes or locations to drop your ballot. AGAIN, DON’T WAIT TO DO THIS! DO IT ASAP!!!

NOTE: The United States Post Office suggests mailing your ballot back at least 7 days before Election Day. Play it safe, mail it back the day you have voted!

Vote early in-person!

Any Massachusetts voter can vote in-person early this year. In-person voting will be held over 15 days this election in order to allow for safer conditions at your polling place. 

Early voting begins Saturday, October 17th and ends Friday, October 30th. 

Any Massachusetts voter can vote early. You do not need to do anything or have a special reason to do so. You only have to be sure you are registered to vote in your city or town. Again, you do not need an excuse to vote early! So get out there and vote!

Each town must provide a place for early voting. Hours may vary based on the size of the city or town. Find out where and when you can vote early here: www.MassEarlyVote.com

You don’t  need to make an appointment or apply to vote early in-person. You may simply go to any early voting location in your city or town and vote in person just like you would on Election Day. 

When you’ve finished voting, you will seal your ballot in a ballot envelope and sign the affidavit on the envelope and return it to an election official. Once you have handed in your ballot envelope and the clerk accepts it, your vote is final and you cannot take it back or vote again. Congrats! You just voted!

REMEMBER! Early in-person voting has been expanded in part due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. You should expect the polling place to allow for safe social distancing and you will certainly be required to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Play it safe, wear a mask! 

Vote in-person on Election Day

All registered voters who do not vote by mail or who didn't vote early in-person will be able to vote in-person on election day on November 3, 2020. Polling places across Massachusetts will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

The voting process is simple. When you walk in, the poll worker will ask for your name and address. Once found, they will repeat your name and address back to you and check you off the list. If you have already voted by mail or voted early, your name will already be checked off.

Once you are checked off, you will be given a ballot and directed to a voting booth. Be sure to read both sides of the ballot (it may be more than one page). If you make a mistake while voting, you can ask for a new ballot. After you have finished voting, you will cast your ballot and leave the polling place. 

Assistance with voting

Have a vision impairment, can’t read or write english, or have a disability that makes voting difficult for you? You can seek help from anyone of your choosing, including poll workers. You may also ask to use the AutoMark voter assist booth. The AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal is an accessible ballot marking terminal that will allow you to mark your ballot privately and independently. Simply insert your ballot into the terminal, then you can review the ballot and vote by using the touch screen or the keypad, while listening to the ballotover a set of headphones. AutoMARK will mark your ballot by filling in the corresponding ovals or connecting the arrows on the ballot. The ballot will then be returned to you to deposit into the ballot box. Congrats! You just voted!

Note on voter identification: While you do not need to provide a photo ID to vote, you may be asked to provide documentation that you are who you say you are and that you live where you say you live. It is recommended that you bring one of the following just in case you are asked.

  • valid driver’s license 
  • photo identification card 
  • current utility bill 
  • bank statement 
  • pay stub 
  • government check, letter from your dormitory on school letterhead
  • or any other official and current document that shows your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. 
  • You may present electronic identification to the poll worker, such as on a smartphone, if you do not have a hard copy.



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