In Massachusetts, you must register to vote twenty days prior* to the date of the election, and must be 18 years old on the date of election.
You may submit an application to register or pre-register to vote in Massachusetts if:
- You are a citizen of the United States; and
- You are 16 years old; and
- You are not currently incarcerated by reason of a felony conviction.
The League of Women Voters advocated for the following election modernization legislation, which was passed into law in 2014.
- Pre-registration for 16 and 17 year old citizens. These citizens may pre-register (using the same procedure as registration), then will become registered voters when they turn 18.
- Early voting for state and presidential elections. Beginning with the November 8, 2016 State Election, Massachusetts voters were able to cast their ballots before Election Day (biennial state elections) for the first time. During the October 24th-November 4th early voting period, over 1 million ballots were cast across the Commonwealth. More than 22% of Massachusetts registered voters took advantage of early voting.
The League is actively advocating this legislative session for the following bills.
- Automatic voter registration (AVR). Citizens would automatically be registered through the Registry of Motor Vehicles and other state agencies.
- Election day registration (EDR). Citizens would be able to register to vote on Election Day.
* On July 24, 2017, The Suffolk Superior Court ruled that Massachusetts’s 20-day voter registration deadline is unconstitutional, noting that it arbitrarily and unnecessarily excludes thousands from the democratic process. Appeal(s) are expected.