1. When are elections held?

State and Federal Elections – Even Years:

Massachusetts and U. S. elections are held in the even years 2012, 2014, 2016, etc. The Primary election is in September. The General election is the first Tuesday in November.

City Elections – Odd Years:

Non-Partisan City elections are held in the odd years 2013, 2015, 2016, etc. The preliminary election is in September to narrow the field to two candidates per seat. The Final Runoff Election is the first Tuesday in November.

Town Elections Vary – contact your town to find out when the next election is.

2. Whom can I vote for?

City Elections:

  • Mayor
  • City Council/Alderman
  • School Committee
  • Offices and length of term vary

State Elections:

  • Statewide offices: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State and State Auditor (4 year terms)
  • State Legislature: 40 State Senators and 160 State Representatives (2 year terms)
  • Governor’s Council: 8 Members (2 year terms)
  • County Offices: District Attorney, Sheriff, Clerks of Court, County Commissioners, Registrar of Deeds, Registrar of Probate (terms vary)
  • Ballot Questions: Initiatives, Referenda, Constitutional Amendments, Local Advisory Public Policy Questions by House or Senate districts.

Federal Elections:

  • President/Vice-President (4 year term)
  • U.S. Senate (6 year term)
  • U.S. House of Representatives (2 year term)

You can find your sample ballot for state elections by typing in your address at www.wheredoivotema.com.  For city or town ballots contact your local election office.

3. Where do I vote?

Where you vote depends on where you live.  Your street address is part of a ward and precinct.  You will vote at the polling location designated for your ward and precinct.

Go to www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com to find out where you vote.

4. What if I am out of town on Election Day?

You may vote by an absentee ballot if you (1) will be out of your city or town on election day, (2) are physically unable to go the polls, or (3) cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs.

Print an absentee ballot request form: click here. Remember to sign the form and get it in the mail well ahead of the election.

If you wish to vote absentee in-person at your city or town hall contact your local election office.

5. What if I move before the election? Do I have to register again?

Yes. Register at your new address by filling out a registration card and mailing it to your local Election Department. If you haven’t changed your address you may be able to vote at your old address. Call your local election department.