Who is Eligible to Vote in Massachusetts?
All US citizens who reside in Massachusetts and are 18 years of age or older are eligible to vote in all municipal, state, and federal elections unless they are currently incarcerated on a felony conviction. Incarcerated people who are eligible to vote include:
Those incarcerated on pre-trial detention;
People incarcerated on misdemeanor convictions; and
People who have completed their sentence for a sex offense and are detained indefinitely, or civilly committed, at the Massachusetts Treatment Center.
People who are otherwise eligible to vote but are “confined in a correctional facility or jail, except if by reason of a felony conviction,” are specially qualified voters who are entitled to vote by absentee ballot. As specially qualified voters, incarcerated people who are eligible to vote do not need to fill out a voter registration form – instead, they can request an absentee ballot and then send in their ballot.
According to Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court precedent, incarcerated voters may use either their most recent address (where they lived prior to incarceration) or the correctional facility address (where they are incarcerated) as their legal voting address. See Dane v. Board, 374, Mass. 152 (1978).