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Voters’ guide to the Mass. general election

Who’s on the ballot?

Voters across Massachusetts will choose candidates in the following races:

US Senate: Incumbent Edward Markey, Democrat; Brian Herr, Republican

Governor and lieutenant governor: Charlie Baker and Karyn Polito, Republicans; Martha Coakley and Steve Kerrigan, Democrats; Evan Falchuk and Angus Jennings, United Independent Party; Scott Lively and Shelly Saunders, independents; Jeff McCormick and Tracy Post, independents

Attorney general: Maura Healey, Democrat; John Miller, Republican

Secretary of state: Incumbent William Galvin, Democrat; David D’Arcangelo, Republican; Daniel Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer: Deborah Goldberg, Democrat; Michael Heffernan, Republican; Ian Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor: Incumbent Suzanne Bump, Democrat; Patricia Saint Aubin, Republican; M K Merelice, Green-Rainbow


Voters will also have choices in local races for the US House, the Governor’s Council, state House and Senate, district attorney, and register of probate.

How can I learn about my local candidates?

The Massachusetts secretary of state’s website allows you to type in your address and see the full slate of candidates that will appear on your local ballot. Go to wheredoivotema.com .

Am I allowed to vote via absentee ballot?

Yes, if you will be absent from your community on Election Day, if you have a physical disability that keeps you from the polls, or if you cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs. You can either have an absentee ballot mailed to you, or you may vote at your city or town hall by making arrangements with local election officials. To have an absentee ballot mailed to you, apply in writing to your city or town clerk or election official. An application is available at your local election office or can be downloaded from the secretary of state’s website.

What about the ballot questions?

Voters will be asked to weigh in on four questions:

Question 1 would eliminate gas tax indexing, undoing a law that requires the state tax on gas and diesel fuel to be adjusted every year by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index over the preceding year. A Yes vote would repeal the indexing law. A No vote would leave the law as is.


Question 2 would expand the state’s beverage container deposit law, requiring deposits on containers not currently included in the so-called Bottle Bill. A Yes vote would expand the bottle bill. A No vote would leave the law as is.

Question 3 would repeal the state’s casino gambling law, prohibiting the state gaming commission from issuing casino licenses and voiding any licenses already issued. A Yes vote would prohibit casinos, slot machine parlors, and betting on simulcast greyhound races. A No vote would leave the current law in place.

Question 4 would entitle Massachusetts workers to earn and use sick time with certain caveats. A Yes vote would entitle employees to earn and use sick time. A No vote would leave current law unchanged.

Is it too late to register to vote?

No — but hurry. State law requires voters to be registered 20 days before all primaries and general elections.

What about same-day voter registration?

Although some states allow would-be voters to register at the polls, such a system was rejected this year by state lawmakers.

What about Massachusetts’ new early voting law?

Signed into law this spring by Governor Deval Patrick, the law will allow voters to cast ballots early — beginning in 2016. Residents will be allowed to vote in statewide elections starting 11 business days before an election and ending two business days before an election. The law will also allow 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister, though they won’t be allowed to cast ballots until they turn 18.


How do I figure out where to vote?

The secretary of state’s website allows voters to type in their home address and learn the address of their local polling place and locate it on a map. Go to wheredoivotema.com .

When are the polls open?

For state elections, the polls must be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you are in line at the polls by 8 p.m., you are entitled to vote.

More information

For more information about where the statewide candidates stand on some major issues, the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has compiled a Voters’ Guide to Statewide Offices available at lwvma.org .