By: Michael Kehoe
Though the voter registration deadline is fast approaching, there is still time to register so voters still have the chance to rock the boat.
On November sixth, the country will hold its Midterm Elections. Massachusetts residents will have the opportunity to vote on legislative issues and elect candidates on both the local and state levels. The deadline to register to vote in these elections is Oct. 17 that deadline also applies when changing one’s registered address or political party. It has never been easier to register and just a few minutes can ensure that the voice of change will be heard this November.
There are some basic requirements that one must meet in order to be eligible to vote in Massachusetts. One must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of Massachusetts and be at least 18 years of age. Also, one must have a state-issued driver’s license or some other form of state identification.
There are multiple ways that interested voters can register to vote. The website https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/ offers easy-to-follow simple prompts. One will be required to fill out personal information and to verify a home address, but the process takes less than 10 minutes.
There is also an option to register via mail. To download the voter registration form, go to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Voter-reg-mail-in.pdf. Once the application is filled out and signed, you it can be sent to one’s local election official (which can be found here: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleclk/clkidx.htm).
Finally, those interested may also choose to register in person. This can be done at any local election office or at the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office in Boston. Interested voters are also given the opportunity to register to vote as part of any transaction at one’s local Registry of Motor Vehicles.
If those interested are unsure about whether or not one is already registered, go to https://www.sec.state.ma.us/VoterRegistrationSearch/MyVoterRegStatus.aspx and enter one’s name, date of birth, and zip code to search for the voter registration status. This search will also show the location to vote, the local town clerk, and the elected officials.
If a respectable voter has recently moved, the new residing address must be updated in order to be eligible to vote. Voters can also designate what political party they belong to if one wishes to change from being not enrolled, also known as Independent voter. Once an interested voter is registered to vote or has changed their voter information, one will receive a letter in the mail confirming the application.
Even if one is not available to vote in person on Election Day, an individual’s registration can still be put to use. For those individuals who wish to vote, but will not be able to on November sixth, can apply for an absentee ballot. The application can be found at http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/absentee/English-Absentee-Ballot-Application.pdf and must be completed and signed. Once the application is filled out entirely, the ballot can be mailed to: Boston Election Department, 1 City Hall Square, Room 241, Boston, MA, 02201. Once the application has been accepted, one will receive an absentee ballot in the mail along with instructions on where to send it back to.
Voting is a fundamental part of our country and it allows every US citizen to have a say in who represents them and what legislation they approve of. With so many different options to register and with how quickly the process has become, anyone who wishes to vote can easily do so. If interested in voting in the 2018 Midterm Elections, then make sure to successfully register by Oct. 17.