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In 1999, a small group of community leaders came together to close the voter turnout gap between white, suburban areas and urban communities of color. That group helped to found MassVOTE, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to increase voter participation in the state of Massachusetts.

 

Today we work to increase voter registration, education, and participation in historically underrepresented communities throughout Massachusetts. We also promote social, economic, environmental, and racial justice.

Join Us at Our Annual Celebration!

Discover how our programs are working to ensure equal participation in our political system. 

Our mission to enhance participation in the political system through education, involvement, and activism is reflected in our primary projects: 

DEMOCRACY FOR ALL

Democracy for All originates from those who labored to build a culture of civic participation among historically disenfranchised groups in underserved communities nationwide. Today, these communities form the "rising electorate" of Massachusetts, encompassing people of color, naturalized citizens, youth, and low-income voters. The Democracy For All program carries on this legacy by promoting non-partisan voter education, engagement, and participation in our democratic system.

FAIR ELECTIONS AGENDA

For over a decade, we have been actively promoting voter participation and fair elections through legislative advocacy, voter activation, and educational initiatives. The Fair Elections Agenda is committed to ensuring transparency, access, and fairness in electoral legislation and processes. It strives to safeguard and uphold the principle of equal opportunity for all individuals to participate, vote, and contribute their voices to shape our sociopolitical future. 

YOUNG CIVIC LEADERS

Our Young Civic Leaders program empowers high school students in Boston with the knowledge and skills necessary to become active participants in civic life. Aimed at cultivating a new generation of socially conscious leaders, the program invites students aged 15-19 to engage in a transformative journey centered around voter education, advocacy, and community engagement. Participants undergo a structured curriculum over the course of a school year, emphasizing key topics like the history of voting rights, voter suppression, and the significance of local and national elections.

WOMEN'S PIPELINE FOR CHANGE

The Pipeline is a coalition comprised of progressive women of color leaders, women of color-led organizations and allies from various sectors. We have advanced different initiatives to understand, build and support progressive women of color in public leadership that complement current organizations and resources in Massachusetts.

Additional Resources

We are excited to share the latest research report, "Ranked Choice Voting Elections Benefit Candidates and Voters of Color." This comprehensive study, conducted by FairVote's senior research analysts Deb Otis and Nora Dell, with contributions from Chris Zawora and Omar Danaf, delves into the transformative impact of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) on electoral outcomes for communities of color.

  • Who can register to vote in Massachusetts?
    To register to vote in this state, you must: 1. Currently living in Massachusetts. No length of stay required. 2. Be a U.S. citizen. 3. Be at least 16 years old to register to vote
  • How do I register to vote?
    To register to vote you must: 1. Fill out a registration card. Mail it to your town or city clerk/election department. 2. Also register in person at your town hall or city election department. Get a card from a local non-profit, election clerk, or library. 3. Go to the website of the MA Secretary of State to print out a registration form.
  • What are the registration deadlines?
    Registration cards must be postmarked or delivered 20 days before an election in Massachusetts.
  • Do I have to re-register every year?
    No. Your registration is valid unless you: 1. Change your address 2. Change your name 3. Did not vote in two consecutive State Elections and have moved. State elections are held in every even year — 2012, 2014, 2016, etc.
  • What if I move?
    If you move, make sure to re-register at your new address by filling out another registration card in your city/town.
  • If I forget to re-register at my new address in time for the election, can I still vote at my old address?"
    Yes. Register at your new address by filling out a registration card and mailing it to your local Election Department. If you haven’t changed your address you may be able to vote at your old address. Call your local election department.
  • What about enrolling in a political party?
    You have three options: 1. Register in a Party: You may register to vote in one of the three parties in Massachusetts who have qualified for official party status–Democrat or Republican. 2. Register with No Party Affiliation: In Massachusetts, you may list yourself as “Unenrolled” which means you do not have a party designation. Remember that you will still have the option to vote in a major party primary (e.g., Democrat or Republican). 3. Another “Political Designation”: You can also choose from a party that is not considered an official party in Massachusetts. Like “Unenrolled” status, if you choose a separate party affiliation, you will still have the option to vote in a major party primary.
  • What does it mean to choose "unenrolled"?"
    Being unenrolled in Massachusetts means that you are registered to vote but not a member of a party. You may still vote in a Democratic or Republican primary without affecting your “unenrolled” status. “Unenrolled” is commonly referred to as independent.
  • I became a new citizen after the deadline to register to vote. Can I still vote?
    Yes. As a new citizen, you may register to vote after the deadline. Go in person to the Election Department at City Hall up until 4 PM on the day before the election. You must bring your dated naturalization papers for them to copy. (MGL Chapter 51, Section 50)
  • Which parts of the registration form are required?
    On a voter registration form you are required to provide: 1. Name First Name. Middle Initial or Name. Last Name. Other- Jr. III etc. 2. Former name if you are changing your name. 3. Current street address and Apt # for your voter registration. No PO Boxes. 4. Mailing address if you use a Post Office Box. 5. Birth date 6. Party affiliation. “Unenrolled” for no party. 7. Old registration address if you were registered before. 8. Date 9. Signature 10. An identification number: Your Driver’s License # or the last four digits of your Social Security #. If you don’t have these, write “None”.
  • Which are optional?
    Phone Number… or information that does not apply to you like change of name or an old address if this is your first time registering.
  • Do I need an ID to vote?
    Only in certain circumstances: 1. First Time Voter–If you are a first time voter who registered through the mail. 2. Didn’t Return Census Form–If you did not return your annual census form collected by every town and city in Massachusetts
  • What kind of ID is accepted in MA?
    1. Photo ID is not required. ID must include your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. 2. Valid Photo Identification (Drivers License, State ID issued for Non-Drivers, Student ID, Passport) 3. Utility Bill (gas, electric, cable, oil, water — no cell phone bills). 4. Recent Bank Statement 5. Government document like a paycheck stub.
  • When are the 2024 Elections / Voter Registration Deadlines
    September 3, 2024 – State Primaries District: Statewide Offices on Ballot: U.S. Senator U.S. Representative Governor’s Councillor State Senator State Representative Register of Deeds Clerk of Courts County Commissioner (certain counties only) Voter Registration Deadline: August 24, 2024 Vote by Mail Application Deadline: August 26, 2024 Polling Hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. November 5, 2024 – State Election District: Statewide Offices on Ballot: Electors of President and Vice President U.S. Senator U.S. Representative Governor’s Councillor State Senator State Representative Register of Deeds Clerk of Courts County Commissioner (certain counties only) Additional local offices (certain cities & towns) Voter Registration Deadline: October 26, 2024 Vote by Mail Application Deadline: October 29, 2024 Polling Hours: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • What is an 'inactive voter'
    Under state law, every city and town is required to communicate with each household and compile an annual street list – also known as a city or town census. Most cities and towns choose to communicate with residents by mail. If a voter fails to respond to the annual street list, they will be placed on the inactive voters list and their local election official will send out a confirmation notice, which the voter is asked to sign and return. The confirmation notice is meant to confirm that the voter continues to reside at the address at which he or she is registered, or if the voter has moved, update the address on file. Voters who fail to return confirmation notices will remain on the inactive voters list. If you are an inactive voter, it will be indicated on the list of voters when you check-in at your polling place. Before you may vote, you will be required to complete an affirmation of current and continuous residence. On this form, you must affirm that you continue to reside at the address at which you are registered, have moved within the same town, or have moved from one municipality to another Massachusetts municipality within six months of a state election. You will also be asked to present identification which shows your name and the address at which you are registered to vote. It is not required that you present photo identification. Acceptable forms of identification include: a driver's license, state-issued ID card, recent utility bill, rent receipt, lease, a copy of a voter registration affidavit, or any other printed identification which contains your name and address. As soon as you have completed the affirmation of current and continuous residence, you will be restored to the active voters list and be allowed to cast your vote.
  • Where do I vote?
    Enter in your address here to see your voting location.
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