Massachusetts ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: A Vote by Mail application will be mailed to every person who was registered to vote by July 1 and who had not already requested an absentee ballot for the State Primary or for all elections this year. A second mailing will be sent out in September to all voters who have not already applied for a Vote by Mail ballot for the November election.

The applications are pre-addressed to your local election official and no postage is necessary. Vote by Mail applications must be delivered to your local election office no later than 4 business days before the election. For a State Primary ballot, your application must reach your local election office no later than August 26. For a State Election ballot, your application must reach your local election office no later than October 28. If you wish to vote by mail, you are strongly encouraged to return your application as early as possible, to make sure that you will receive your ballot in time to return it and have it be counted. Vote by Mail applications are available for download and may also be requested by contacting the Elections Division.

If you need a photocopy of your ID to accompany your absentee/vote-by-mail ballot application and do not have access to a copier or printer, click here to learn how we can help.

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.

First-time voters

When you register to vote or vote for the first time in a federal election in your state, you must prove who you are:
  • If you register to vote in person, you must show a driver’s license, state ID, or provide the last 4 digits of your social security number (SSN), if you have one.
  • If you registered by mail and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN, you must show an acceptable form of ID (see below) at your polling place.
  • If you apply for an absentee/vote by mail ballot and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN when you registered by mail, you must include a copy of an acceptable ID (see below).

Here is a list of acceptable IDs: Documents that prove who you are

Your state may have other ID requirements for voting in person or for absentee/vote by mail ballot.

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

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

 

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match other signatures on file.

Last update: June 26, 2020

Hannah Piercey

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