#TheArcVotes (The Arc of Massachusetts Voting Resource Center)

#TheArcVotes

The Arc of Massachusetts Voting Resource Center

Welcome to the homepage for #TheArcVotes, The Arc of Massachusetts Voting Resource Center. Election season is just around the corner in Massachusetts. Continue reading for important resources and information about your voting rights.

ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?

If you have a state issued ID, you have automatically been registered by the state. Click here to see if you’re registered.

  • Deadline to register: The last day to register to vote in Massachusetts for the 2020 election is Saturday, October 24, by 8 p.m. (No registration on election day, November 3, 2020)
  • How do I register?: MA Secretary State Online registration portal, mail in form, or in person.
  • Do I need an ID to register?: You will likely need to have a MA address and a MA driver's license or state-issued ID, or any other identification that has your name and address.
  • Can I vote if I have a disability? Yes! People with disabilities who are at least 18 years old have the right to vote. If you have a guardian, you can still vote, unless a judge says you cannot vote. Contact the Disability Law Center if you have any concerns or question

VOTE IN PERSON

We encourage everyone who is voting in person to vote early if possible, to prevent standing in long lines on November 3.

  • Where do I need to go to vote? If you are registered to vote, visit www.WhereDoIVoteMA.com to find your polling place.
  • When can I vote? In-person early between October 17-30 to avoid lines on election day, November 3! On November 3, polls open from 7 am – 8 pm.
  • Can I vote from a car if the polling place is inaccessible? No, MA doesn’t allow voters to request a ballot from a car, if inaccessible.
  • What if I want assistance with my ballot? You may choose someone (except your boss, union agent, or a candidate) to assist you in marking your ballot.
  • Do I need an ID? If this is your first time voting in a federal election after registering to vote by mail or if you haven’t voted for a very long time & on the inactive list, you will need to bring an ID to the polling place. If you have voted before recently, you don’t need to bring any ID to your polling place but must provide your address.

VOTE BY MAIL

This year, voting in Massachusetts state elections is coming to your house! Every registered voter should have received “Vote by Mail” applications for the November state election.

  • You need to return the completed Vote by Mail application no later than October 28, 2020 to your local election office. Upon indication you wish to vote by mail, a ballot will be sent to the same address.
  • When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  • Your ballot must be postmarked by Tuesday, November 3 and received no later than Friday, November 6, 2020. You may also return your ballot in person by Tuesday, November 3 by close of polls. You can find ballot tracking information here.
  • If you do not receive an application in the mail, you can request one here.

CAN I FILL OUT MY BALLOT VIA EMAIL?

In Massachusetts, the Accessible Vote by Mail System allows certain disabled voters who are unable to complete a mail-in ballot to receive and complete their ballot electronically. Voters are then able to return their ballot electronically by email, or by mail, secure drop-box, or in-person delivery to their local election office. By law, the Accessible Vote by Mail System is available only to voters with disabilities that make it difficult or impossible for them to effectively access a paper vote by mail ballot because they cannot independently read, write, hold, or physically manipulate standard print materials.

HOW TO APPLY TO THE MASSACHUSETTS ACCESSIBLE VOTE BY MAIL SYSTEM

To access the Accessible Vote by Mail System, you must submit both a Request for Accommodation and a complete Vote by Mail Application to the Accessible Vote by Mail Coordinator no later than 5:00PM on October 28, 2020. Requests and Applications may be submitted via email to avbm@sec.state.ma.us. Requests may also be made via phone at (617) 727-2828 between the hours of 8:45AM and 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.

* Help America Vote Act (HAVA) 2002: Voting needs to be “accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters” (“On Voting Accessibility for People with Disabilities,” Norman Ornstein and Kristina Kopić). It further mandates that every voting place have at least one accessible voting machine.

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