Voter Registration Basics

In order to vote in Massachusetts, you must register 20 days before all primaries and general elections. Registering to vote is the first step in becoming civically engaged, and you can find all the basics here.


who can register to vote?

Naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall

Naturalization ceremony at Faneuil Hall

To register to vote in Massachusetts a person must be:

  • A U.S. citizen

  • A Massachusetts resident

  • At least 16 years of age*

In Massachusetts you are able to pre-register to vote at the age of 16, however, you must be 18 years old to vote.

If you moved to Massachusetts or within the state since the last election, you'll have to re-register with your new address. There's no residency waiting period in Massachusetts. You can register as soon as you move to your new address

how to register to vote

Massachusetts Senior Action Council registers people to vote using a Chinese language voter registration form.

Massachusetts Senior Action Council registers people to vote using a Chinese language voter registration form.

  • Online: The state online system is the easiest way to register. You can register to vote, make changes to your contact information, and change your party status. Visit the state’s Voter Registration website. You'll need:

    • A valid driver's license, learner's permit, or State ID, and

    • A signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

    • If you don't have an ID, you can fill out the form online and mail it.

  • By Mail: Forms in English (PDF) are available in almost all public buildings such as schools, libraries, etc., and online. Forms are also available in Spanish (PDF), Chinese (PDF), Khmer (PDF), Vietnamese (PDF), Portuguese (PDF), Haitian Creole (PDF), and Russian (PDF). Once you have completed the form, mailed it to the your city or town election office.

  • As part of a community voter registration drive: Many community-based organizations (including Massachusetts Voter Table partners) can register you to vote.

  • In Person: You can register to vote at any local election office, city hall, or library. You can also register when can register while applying or renewing a driver’s license, applying for food stamps, welfare benefits, or the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

When do i need to register to vote?

Register to vote 20 days before the primary or general election. You can find dates of the elections in our Massachusetts Elections Calendar and deadlines for registration.

what's the deal with party affiliation?

donkey elephant 2.jpg

When registering to vote, you may select a party preference, which affects which ballot you will receive in partisan primary elections. In the primary, you will receive the ballot for the party under which you enroll. (In the general election, all voters receive the same ballot.)

If you choose not to indicate your party preference on your voter registration form, you will be listed as unenrolled (independent). Unenrolled voters may request either party’s primary ballot. If the primary is a state primary, you will be switched back automatically to unenrolled. In a presidential primary election, you will be automatically registered as a member of that party.

Change your party affiliation online or mail in a new voter registration form. If you are enrolled in a party and wish to vote in the other party’s primary, you must change your party enrollment at least 28 days before the primary.