Step-by-step process for voting in Massachusetts

— Susan Safford

Information is courtesy the Martha’s Vineyard League of Women Voters

Steps for the state primary September 1

Step one: Make sure you register to vote (and state your party affiliation) by Aug. 22 for the state primary.   Make sure you have your application to vote by mail.  You may download a mail ballot application: mailmyballotma.Com

Step two: Make sure your application to vote by mail arrives at your town clerk’s office by Aug. 26, 5 pm in order to vote in the Sept. 1 state primary

Step three: In-person early voting in each of the towns; dates are Aug. 22-28

Step four: In person voting on election day Sept. 1 or return mail vote by Sept 1.

Steps for the national election November 3

Step one: Register to vote by Oct. 24 if you had not already done so for the state primary in September

Step twoMake sure your vote by mail application arrives at your town clerk’s office by weds, Oct. 28 at 5 pm in order to receive a mail ballot in time for the Nov. 3 election.

Step threeIn-person early voting in each town; dates are Oct. 17 – 30.

Step four: In person voting on election day Tuesday, Nov. 3 or return mail ballot by tues, Nov. 3

Ballot by Mail: In July, a new law was passed to allow all registered voters in Massachusetts to vote by mail in any 2020 election, with no excuse needed. As required by the new law, a Vote by Mail application will be mailed to every person who was registered to vote by July 1 and who had not already requested an absentee ballot for the State Primary or for all elections this year. A second mailing will be sent out in September to all voters who have not already applied for a Vote by Mail ballot for the November election. The applications are pre-addressed to your local election official and no postage is necessary. Vote by Mail applications must be delivered to your local election office no later than 4 business days before the election. For a State Primary ballot, your application must reach your local election office no later than August 26. For a State Election ballot, your application must reach your local election office no later than October 28.

If you wish to vote by mail, you are strongly encouraged to return your application as early as possible, to make sure that you will receive your ballot in time to return it and have it be counted.   Vote by Mail applications are available for download and may also be requested by contacting the Elections Division.   To open those underlined links, right click on link to open in a new tab.

The below link will direct you to the updated MA State Elections page.

The League of Women Voters USA is sponsoring a voter information guide called that can answer questions about who represents your beliefs and about where, when and how will you vote.  The LWV-US is an excellent resource on voting but also on issues, elections, and promotes social and economic justice for all Americans.  Their website:

The strength of our democracy depends on the citizens getting involved and engaging our government.  Contact your elected officials:

  1. Identify yourself as a constituent of the legislator you are contacting to express your opinions.  Politicians listen to the opinions of those who vote for them
  2. Focus on a single topic.  You’ll be more effective and receive a faster response.
  3. Ask the legislator to take specific action, like supporting a piece of legislation.  Ask for a written response that gives your legislator’s position on the issue
  4. Make your points quickly and concisely to have a greater impact.
  5. Use you own words when discussing an issue.

The above information was summarized from the LWV of the US, Washington, DC

The U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224  -3121