How to Make Sure Your Vote Counts in Massachusetts This November

What you need to know ahead of the midterm elections, including key deadlines and how to vote by mail in Massachusetts.

The 2020 election was probably the most important one you’ve ever voted in, but let’s be clear: they’re all super important. And besides, this is one to be excited about! We get to choose a new governor for the first time in eight years. We have some interesting ballot questions to wade through. As always, all nine US Representatives are on the ballot. And above all, this is your time to exert your power as a state citizen.

So get your voting plan in order, make sure you’re informed, and get out there on November 8. To make things a bit easier, here’s everything you need to know to make your voice heard in the 2022 midterm elections in Massachusetts.

What’s on the ballot: key races and issues

There’s a fair bit going on! For starters, we’re voting for a new governor and lieutenant governor for the first time in eight years. On the ballot are former state representative Geoff Diehl (Republican) and state attorney general Maura Healey (Democrat). If elected, Healy would be the state’s first female governor and could be the first lesbian governor in the US. We’re also guaranteed a new attorney general, since Healey is now in the governor’s race. Plus, secretary of state, treasurer, and auditor are also on the ballot.

And we have four ballot measures to vote on: Question 1 would create a 4% tax on income over $1 million, with the money going to education and transportation initiatives. Question 2 is about the regulation of dental insurance (read more about it here). Question 3 changes the number of retail liquor licenses granted across the state. And Question 4 is a referendum vote on House BIll 4805, which expands the number of people who can apply for a driver’s license or motor vehicle registration.

What’s the deadline to register to vote in Massachusetts?

The deadline to register to vote in Massachusetts is October 29—in-person at the local election office by 5 pm, or online by 11:59 pm. If you choose to register by mail, your registration needs to be postmarked no later than October 29.

How to register to vote in Massachusetts

There are three main ways to register to vote: in person at your local city or town hall, online, or by mail. Not sure about your status? Go here to find out.

Can I vote early? When does early voting start in Massachusetts?

Yup. Early voting in the state—both in person and by mail—will take place from October 22 to November 4. However, dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Schedules for each town and city will be posted here no later than October 17.

Can I vote by mail?

Yes! Any registered voter in Massachusetts can request to do so.

How do I vote by mail?

Simply fill out the mail ballot application, and submit the request to your local election office. Applications can be mailed, hand-delivered to an election office, voting site, or drop box, or submitted electronically by fax or email as long as your signature is visible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is November 1 at 5 pm, but the sooner, the better.

How to find your polling place

Easy peasy! Head to this site and enter your residential address.

How to vote absentee in Massachusetts

There are three different circumstances that qualify you for an absentee ballot: You’re away from your home city or town on Election Day, you have a disability that keeps you from voting at your polling place, or you have a religious belief that prevents you from voting on Election Day. That said, most folks who qualify for an absentee ballot can instead apply for an early vote by mail ballot. PS: If you’re mailing back your absentee ballot, it must be postmarked by November 8 and received by November 12 at 5pm.

How to volunteer as a poll worker

First of all, do it! It’s one of the most immediate ways to assure the integrity of our elections; plus, you get to meet your neighbors. The best thing to do is visit your town or city’s page to fill out an online form—for example, here’s the information for becoming a poll worker in Boston.

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Meaghan Agnew is a Thrillist contributor.