We are excited to announce that all registered voters will be able to vote before Election Day for the first time ever in Massachusetts. Early voting will begin on October 24th and continue through November 4th, 2016. Prior to the enactment of this new law, the only way a registered voter was allowed to vote prior to Election Day was through absentee voting. Although absentee voting will still be available for registered voters who qualify, only those who will be absent from their city or town on Election Day, or have a disability that prevents them from going to the polls, or have a religious belief preventing the same, are legally allowed to vote by absentee ballot.
Unlike absentee voting, early voting is for every registered voter. Registered voters do not need an excuse or reason to vote early. Regardless of whether a voter wants to take advantage of early voting, vote absentee or vote on Election Day, the first step is making sure you are registered. To check to see if you are registered to vote, and to find information on how to register to vote, you may visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website: http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele. If you need to register to vote, you may do it online by visiting: http://www.RegisterToVoteMA.com. All you need is a license or an I.D. issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles to apply online. To be eligible to vote in the November 8th State Election, you must register to vote or make any necessary changes to your voter registration by October 19th, 2016.
Early voting can be done in person or by mail. In Melrose early voting can be done in person at Melrose City Hall, 562 Main Street during the following dates and times October 24-November 4th, Monday – Thursday 8:30-4:00 and Friday 8:30-12:30. For public convenience, Melrose has also decided to offer one evening for early voting to be held on Wednesday, November 2nd from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and one Saturday on October 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Early voters will fill out an early voting envelope with their name, address and signature, place ballot in envelope and seal. The Elections Administrator will take the ballots to your polling place on Election Day.
Please note, however, once a voter has cast an early voting ballot, the voter may no longer vote at the polls on Election Day.
For the first time in Massachusetts, the first choice all voters will make is which day to vote. Early voting will make the most fundamental right of our citizens more convenient than ever to exercise. We encourage all of our citizens to exercise that right and take advantage of the opportunity to vote on their schedules.