Mass. Election Day Voter Registration?
January 18, 2010 1:23 PM   Subscribe

Massachusetts election day voter registration? Is it possible?

Just found out I'm no longer registered to vote for complicated reasons.. I'd really like to vote. Can I just show up somewhere tomorrow on my lunch break?
posted by pwally to Law & Government (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It sounds like you're pretty sure you're not registered, but just in case these "complicated reasons" mean you are in fact unsure of whether or not you're registered, you can always go to your local precinct (not "somewhere", but the precinct for the area where you live) and cast a provisional ballot. If it turns out you are registered, and the race is close, your vote will be counted. If otherwise, well. The worst that happens is they throw your vote away.
posted by shaun uh at 1:41 PM on January 18, 2010

[few comments removed - OP is not anonymous and question is not about who to vote for. feel free to email non-answers to the OP directly.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:43 PM on January 18, 2010

Actually feel free not to email me non-answers about who to vote for, got that covered.
posted by pwally at 1:53 PM on January 18, 2010

It says here that you need to register 20 days before the election. But, like shaun uh said, casting a provisional ballot can't hurt.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 1:55 PM on January 18, 2010

There is no election-day registration in Massachusetts. You may still be registered at a prior address, and you can legally vote there.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:56 PM on January 18, 2010

From the Massachusetts Office of the Secretary, Elections Division:

What should I do if my name is not on the voter's list?
Ask the election officer in charge of the polling place to check your registration by looking at the inactive voter's list and by checking to see if you are registered in another precinct in that municipality.

If they still cannot find your name, you may go to city or town hall to attempt to establish your identity as a registered voter or you may cast a provisional ballot.

To cast a provisional ballot, you must execute a provisional ballot affirmation before a precinct officer at the polling place declaring that you are a registered voter in the city or town and reside within the geographical boundaries of said precinct. You must also show suitable identification.

After the election, the local election official will search for records to confirm your voter registration. If your eligibility is confirmed, your ballot will be counted. If your eligibility cannot be confirmed, your ballot will remain sealed in an envelope until such time as it is required to be kept and then will be destroyed without being viewed.
So, yes, go and try to vote, but depending on your "complicated circumstances", your vote might not be counted.

You may also be interested in the page describing how to register.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:06 PM on January 18, 2010

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