Massachusetts ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: A recent bill has clarified that voters taking precautions related to COVID-19 are qualified to vote by absentee ballot. Early voting by mail is available for local elections being held on or before June 30, 2020, as well as for upcoming special state elections.

Who is eligible to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail?

For subsequent elections, a Massachusetts voter is eligible for absentee ballot if they are prevented from voting at their polling place on Election Day due to:

  • Being absent from their city or town on Election Day;
  • A physical disability;
  • Their religious beliefs

Early voting by mail is similar to absentee voting, but unlike absentee voting, no excuse is required.

Voter Registration

First-time voters who have not voted in a previous federal election, or who have never voted in their county of residence in a federal election, AND who did not provide either a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number at the time of registration, must present documentation proving their identity in order to complete their voter registration. First time voters who are voting in person must present this documentation at the polls. First time voters who are voting by mail/absentee ballot must enclose a copy of such documentation with their ballot request or ballot. This is required under the federal Help America Vote Act, enacted in 2002.

Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

No. Unless you are a first-time voter – see Voter Registration section above.

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match your voter registration signature.

Last update: April 15, 2020

Hannah Piercey

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