The deadline to register to vote is today. Are you ready?
If you haven’t registered yet, you still have time (but not very much) to get on board to cast your vote in the upcoming elections.
Here’s what you need to know.
How to register: If you’re a US citizen and Massachusetts resident, and you’ll be at least 18 on Election Day, then you’re eligible to vote. According to the Secretary of State’s website, you have to register 20 days prior to the date of the election — and keep in mind, that also applies if you’ve moved to a new address or have changed political parties. If you have a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, and you currently have a Massachusetts driver’s license or state ID card, you can go online (www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr) to register, update your address, or change your party affiliation.
“Online forms must be submitted by 11:59 p.m.,” said Debra O’Malley, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State William F. Galvin.
Your other option is to visit your local election office in person.
“Voters can also register in person at any city or town hall,” O’Malley said. “All local election offices will be open until 8 p.m. Wednesday for in person registration.”
Party on: Massachusetts recognizes three political parties: Democrat, Republican, and Libertarian. If you’d like to register as an independent, then you should check the box for “no party” and you’ll be considered “unenrolled.”
Too young? You can still pre-register: Even if you’re too young to vote, you can pre-register to vote once you are 16 years old, according to the Secretary of State’s website. All you have to do is submit a voter registration form to your local election official, and then your name will be placed on a list of pre-registrants, so by the time your 18th birthday comes around, you’ll be good to go.
Do you need to show your ID to vote? Maybe: According to the Secretary of State’s website, you may be asked to show identification when you check in at your polling place for any of the following reasons: if you’re voting for the first time in Massachusetts in a federal election; you’re an inactive voter; you’re casting a provisional or challenged ballot; or the “poll worker has a reasonable suspicion that leads them to request identification.” So to play it safe, your best bet is to bring your ID with you, just in case.