Massachusetts absentee and mail ballot guide
Massachusetts absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
Massachusetts absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): N/A
- Request deadline (by mail): Received 6 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): Received 8 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Postmarked by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by Election Day
Massachusetts absentee ballot rules
You may vote using an absentee ballot in Massachusetts if:
- you will be away from home on Election Day
- you have a physical disability preventing you from voting in person
- you cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs
- you are a Massachusetts resident residing outside of the United States,
- you are a voter who has been admitted to the hospital within 1 week of Election Day
- you are a voter who has been quarantined within 1 week of the election
- you are incarcerated (but not yet convicted of a crime)
- you are an active duty military voter
Massachusetts online ballot request (recommended)
- Visit the Massachusetts absentee ballot website.
- Fill out all of the required information.
- Hit save or submit when you are done.
- The deadline to apply online is: N/A.
Massachusetts by-mail ballot request
- Download the Massachusetts absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- The deadline to apply by mail is: Received 6 days before Election Day.
Massachusetts in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is: received 8 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a state-provided dropbox. Please check with your local election office if your county has a dropbox. You can use our Find Out Where To Vote tool to find an official dropbox.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
Massachusetts absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot: Your signature on your application will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot: Your signature on the return envelope will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match. If you forget to sign the return envelope, your ballot might be rejected.
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for Massachusetts elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division, Room 1705 One Ashburton Place Boston, MA 02108
- Massachusetts online voter registration
- Massachusetts online absentee ballot request
- Massachusetts voter status lookup
- Massachusetts absentee ballot tracker
- Massachusetts polling place locator