2008 Information For Voters

How to Register to Vote...

Who may register?

  • Only a person who is:
  • a U.S. citizen, and
  • a resident of Massachusetts, and
  • 18 years old on or before election day, and not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction.

When and where may I register?

There is no waiting period to be eligible to register to vote. As soon as you consider your address your "home", you may register to vote from that address. Please note that anytime you move, you must re-register. If you move, you may register to vote as soon as you move into your new home.

The deadline to register to vote for the November 4th State Election is October 15th. Any mail-in voter registration form must be postmarked by October 15, 2008 to be eligible to vote in the November 4, 2008 State Election.

How can I register to vote?

In Person: Go to any registration location, such as your city or town hall, and complete an affidavit of registration. Upon completion of the form, you will be provided with a receipt which is proof of your registration. You should keep that receipt until you receive an acknowledgement notice in the mail, which should arrive within 2 to 3 weeks.

By Mail: Mail-in registration forms are widely available. Please use a Mail-in fillable PDF Voter Registration Form Online or call 617-727-2828 or 1-800-462-VOTE (8683) and a form will be sent to you. Mail the completed form to your local city or town hall. You should receive an acknowledgment notice in 2 to 3 weeks. If you do not, please contact your local election office to verify your voting status.

At the Registry of Motor Vehicles: While applying for or renewing a driver’s license, you can complete a voter registration application. Check your motor voter receipt before you leave—it will indicate whether you registered to vote or not. Keep your motor voter receipt until you receive confirmation from your local election official. If you do not receive any confirmation, please contact your local election office to verify your voting status.

What must I do if I’ve changed my address since I registered?

If you have moved, you must register again. You may register to vote as soon as you move into your new home.

Do I need to attach identification to my voter registration form?

Yes, if you are registering to vote for the first time in Massachusetts. The Help America Vote Act of 2002 passed by Congress requires that if you registered to vote by mail on or after January 1, 2003, you will be required to show identification when you vote for the first time in a federal election since registering by mail in 2003, or you can send in a copy of your identification with your voter registration form.

Acceptable identification must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote, for example: a current and valid driver’s license, photo identification, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document showing your name and address. If you send in a copy of your identification with your mail-in voter registration form, it may not be returned to you.

I registered to vote, but my name is not on the voting list—what do I do?

If you registered to vote, but your name is not on the voting list, ask the election officer in charge of the polling place to check your registration by looking at the inactive voter’s list and by checking to see if you are registered in another precinct in that municipality.

If they still cannot find your name, you may go to city or town hall to attempt to establish your identity as a registered voter or you may cast a provisional ballot.

To cast a provisional ballot, you must execute a provisional ballot affirmation before a precinct officer at the polling place declaring that you are a registered voter in the city or town and reside within the geographical boundaries of said precinct. You must also show suitable identification.

After the election, the local election official will search for records to confirm your voter registration. If your eligibility is confirmed, your ballot will be counted. If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, your ballot will remain sealed in an envelope until such time as it is required to be kept and then will be destroyed without being viewed.