Early Voting

Thanks to an historic law passed by the state legislature in 2014, early voting will be available in Massachusetts for November elections in presidential election years, beginning with the November 8, 2016 election.

When…
The early voting period will begin October 24th and end on November 4th. All cities and towns are required to hold early voting sessions during the local election official’s regular business hours, and many are choosing to hold late, early, and weekend hours as well.  You can look up early voting information for your community here or contact your local election official for information on your community’s early voting dates and times.

Where…
Most city and town halls will be early voting locations, but if the town determines that the public will be better served by holding early voting elsewhere, they may designate another location as their main early voting location. Some cities and towns may also choose to have more than one early voting location. You may vote at any early voting location in your own city or town, regardless of where you live in the community. You can look up early voting information for your community here.

How…
You may vote early in person at any early voting location in your city or town, or you may choose to vote early by mail. If you would like to vote by mail, download the early voting application (en Español), complete the application, and mail it to your local election official. Ballots will be mailed out at the beginning of the early voting period, on October 24th. If you qualify to vote absentee, you may submit an absentee ballot application instead. Absentee ballots will be available by early October.

Questions…
If you have any questions about early voting, please contact the Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683) or 617-727-2828, or by e-mail at elections@sec.state.ma.us. For information on your community’s plans for early voting, contact your local election official.

Early Voting Challenge

Early voting helps Make Democracy Work by easing access to the ballot for Massachusetts voters, shortening lines at polling locations, and improving the voting experience. However, the new law leaves a lot of important decisions up to local officials, and we need your help to make sure implementation is as strong as possible.

The Massachusetts Election Modernization Coalition, which includes the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, has issued its recommendations for implementing early voting in the state.

To encourage cities and towns to offer a robust early voting program, the coalition has issued an Early Voting Challenge, with gold and silver “medals” to recognize communities which meet or exceed those recommendations. We are asking local Leagues and concerned citizens throughout the state to contact their town and city election officials and ask them to offer night and weekend early voting hours, as well as multiple early voting locations for municipalities with over 35,000 residents.

What’s the latest Early Voting Challenge news?

Read the press release from the August 4 press conference to release the results of the coalition’s early voting survey.

Read early voting endorsement quotes.

Read the summary of the early voting survey results.

Read the coalition’s early voting principles.

How can you help?

Read the Election Modernization Coalition’s Recommendations for Early Voting

Print and read the Activist’s Toolkit for the Early Voting Challenge.  This comprehensive toolkit includes:

  • A 10-step process for volunteering overview
  • A one-page information sheet for you and elected officials
  • Talking points to use about the campaign
  • FAQs
  • Tips on How to Lobby
  • A Sample Letter to the Editor
  • A Sample Warrant Article (for towns)

Watch a video of an Early Voting Training session.

Contact your local election officials and let them know you want them to meet or exceed the coalition’s recommendations for early voting!

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