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Massachusetts Electoral Resource

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When's The Next Election?

September 12, 2017
Massachusetts : Worcester Preliminary Municipal Election
September 26, 2017
November 7, 2017
November 6, 2018
Massachusetts : General Election Day

Did You Know?


The chocolate chip cookie was reportedly invented in 1930 at the Toll House Restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts. In 1997 it was designated the official cookie of the commonwealth.

After a harsh winter that claimed the lives of half of the Mayflower’s original immigrants from England in 1620, the Pilgrims were taught to plant corn and survive in the wilderness by Native American Indians. In November of the following year, the Pilgrims organized a harvest feast in Plymouth to celebrate their new crop—an event widely regarded as America’s “first Thanksgiving.”

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Established in Cambridge in 1636 by vote of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Harvard University was the first institution of higher education in the United States.

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Nineteen people were hanged at Gallows Hill in 1692 for worshipping the devil and practicing witchcraft, and close to 200 others were similarly accused. In 1711, after judge Samuel Sewall and others involved in the Salem witch trials had admitted wrongdoing, the colony restored the good names of all accused and granted restitution to their heirs.

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Massachusetts observes a legal holiday called Patriots’ Day on the third Monday of April each year, commemorating the first battles of the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

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Following the American Revolutionary War, many people struggled to support their families under the heavy tax burdens levied to pay off war debt. Faced with losing their property, a group of insurgents led by Daniel Shays—a farmer and veteran of the war—forced the closure of several debtors’ courts and attempted to occupy a federal arsenal in Springfield on January 25, 1787. Although repelled, Shays’ Rebellion highlighted the need for a stronger national government and influenced the creation of the U.S. Constitution.

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Dr. James Naismith, a physical education teacher at the International YMCA in Springfield, invented the game of basketball in December 1891 as a way to occupy his students indoors during the cold winter months. The first game was played with a soccer ball and two peach baskets nailed to railings 10 feet above the floor.

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State of Massachusetts Quick Facts
  • Current Population:6,794,422
  • Voter Registration Deadline: 20 days before an election
  • Election Day Voter Registration: No
  • Early Voting: No
  • Absentee Voting: Yes
  • Voter ID: No
  • Electoral Colleges: 11
  • Congressional Districts: 9
  • Date of Statehood: February 6, 1788
  • Size: 10,554 square miles
  • Nickname(s): Bay State
  • Tree: American Elm
  • Flower: Mayflower
  • Bird: Chickadee
Registered Voters

Total: 4,271,835

  • Democrat : 1,490,335
  • Republican : 468,295
  • Green-Rainbow : 5,285
  • United Independent Party : 16,476
  • Unenroll : 2,277,760
  • Political Designations : 13,684

Voting And Elections

Am I eligible To Vote in Massachusetts?

Most States require citizens to be registered in order to vote. Make sure you understand the voter registration requirements in the state of Massachusetts.

  • >>Check if you are eligible to vote

  • Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

    NO: Massachusetts does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

    If My Address Has Changed Do I Need To Re-register To Vote?

    When you register to vote, your voter registration is linked to your residential address. When registered voters move, they are supposed to update their registration records with election officials before voting

  • >>Check if you need to re-register to vote

  • How Do I Register To Vote in Massachusetts?
    Voter registration is a means of determining the candidates and issues for which each voter is eligible to vote. Most states require voters to register to vote a certain number of days before Election Day. Voter Registration also protects the integrity of the ballot box by preventing voting in multiple jurisdictions.

    To register to vote inthe state of Massachusetts, voters have the following options :

    In Person

    If you would like to register in-person, you may do so at any local election office, as well as the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth's office

    By Mail

    If you do not qualify to register to vote online, or if you would prefer to register by mail, you may download the voter registration form by using the link provided in the box to the right


    In order to register to vote online, you must have a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles

    Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

    No owner, superintendent or overseer in any manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment shall employ or permit to be employed therein any person entitled to vote at an election, during the period of two hours after the opening of the polls in the voting precinct, ward or town in which such person is entitled to vote, if he shall make application for leave of absence during such period.

    Massachusetts State Government

    Massachusetts Constitution


    The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government, is to secure the existence of the body politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility their natural rights, and the blessings of life: and whenever these great objects are not obtained, the people have a right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity and happiness.

    The Executive Branch
    The Massachusetts State House in Boston

    Executive Power

    There shall be a supreme executive magistrate, who shall be styled, The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and whose title shall be -- His Excellency.

    Massachusetts Executive Offices
  • The Governor (Elected)
  • The Lieutenant Governor (Elected)
  • The Attorney General (Elected)
  • The Secretary Of State (Elected)
  • Legislative Branch
    The Massachusetts State House in Boston

    Legislative Power

    The people, inhabiting the territory formerly called the Province of Massachusetts Bay, do hereby solemnly and mutually agree with each other, to form themselves into a free, sovereign, and independent body politic, or state by the name of "THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS".

    The department of legislation shall be formed by two branches, a Senate and House of Representatives: each of which shall have a negative on the other.

    The legislative body shall assemble every year [on the last Wednesday in May, and at such other times as they shall judge necessary; and shall dissolve and be dissolved on the day next preceding the said last Wednesday in May;] and shall be stiled, The General Court of Massachusetts.

    Massachusetts Legislative Chambers
  • The State House (Elected)
  • The State Senate (Elected)
  • Judicial Branch
    The Massachusetts State House in Boston

    Judicial Power

    The tenure, that all commission officers shall by law have in their offices, shall be expressed in their respective commissions. All judicial officers, duly appointed, commissioned and sworn, shall hold their offices during good behavior, excepting such concerning whom there is different provision made in this constitution: provided nevertheless, the governor, with consent of the council, may remove them upon the address of both houses of the legislature.

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is not only the court of last resort in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but it is also the oldest continuously functioning appellate court in the Western Hemisphere.

    Massachusetts Current Partisan Composition
    State Representatives(160)
    State Senators(40)
    US Representatives(9)
    US Senators(2)
    State Executives
    Lt. Governor
    Att. General
    Sec. Of State

    State Officials Terms, Authority,Salary, and Qualitications

    Massachusetts Executive Offices
    The Governor

    The governor shall have authority from time to time, at his discretion, to assemble and call together the councillors of this commonwealth for the time being; and the governor with the said councillors, or five of them at least, shall, and may, from time to time, hold and keep a council, for the ordering and directing the affairs of the commonwealth, agreeably to the constitution and the laws of the land.


    The governor shall be chosen [annually]; and no person shall be eligible to this office, unless at the time of his election, he shall have been an inhabitant of this commonwealth for seven years next preceding; [and unless he shall at the same time, be seised in his own right, of a freehold within the commonwealth of the value of one thousand pounds; and unless he shall declare himself to be of the Christian religion.


    Massachusetts elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years.

    Term of Office

    The governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality.

    Limit on Tenure

    Massachusetts governors do not face any term limits.



    The Lieutenant Governor

    There shall be [annually] elected a lieutenant governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, whose title shall be, His Honor and who shall be qualified, in point of [religion, property,] and residence in the commonwealth, in the same manner with the governor: and the day and manner of his election, and the qualifications of the electors, shall be the same as are required in the election of a governor.


    A candidate for the lieutenant governorship must be a registered elector in the state and have been a resident for at least seven years before taking office.


    Massachusetts elects lieutenant governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years.

    Term of Office

    The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality.

    Limit on Tenure

    Limited to two terms.



    The Attorney General

    There shall be a department of the attorney general, under his supervision and control, organized as provided in this chapter.


    A citizen of the United States for at least five years,a member of the Massachusetts State Bar, Be at least 18 years of age.


    Massachusetts elects attorneys general in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years.

    Term of Office

    The attorney general serves four-year terms.

    Limit on Tenure

    The attorney general does not face any term limits.



    Qualification age

    18 years of age.

    The Secretary Of State

    There shall be a department of the state secretary under his supervision and control, organized as provided in this chapter."


    Have been an inhabitant of this commonwealth five years next preceding his election or appointment.


    Massachusetts elects secretaries of the commonwealth in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years

    Term of Office

    Serves four-year terms.

    Limit on Tenure

    Face any term limits.



    Massachusetts State Congress
    The State House

    The House elects its Speaker, who then appoints majority floor leaders. The minority party elects its leaders in a party caucus.


    Every representative, for one year at least immediately preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen and shall cease to represent such district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the commonwealth.


    Every member of the house of representatives shall be chosen by written votes.

    Term of Office

    Two years term.

    Limit on Tenure

    No term limit.



    Qualification age

    Every male or female person, being twenty-one years of age .

    The State Senate

    The Senate shall be a court with full authority to hear and determine all impeachments made by the house of representatives, against any officer or officers of the commonwealth, for misconduct and mal-administration in their offices.


    Every representative, for one year at least immediately preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen and shall cease to represent such district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the commonwealth.


    Term of Office

    Senators serve two-year terms.

    Limit on Tenure

    Without term limits.


    $60,032.60/year + per diem

    Qualification age

    Every male or female inhabitant of twenty-one years of age.

    Massachusetts State Courts
    The Supreme Court

    Each branch of the legislature, as well as the governor and council, shall have authority to require the opinions of the justices of the supreme judicial court, upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions.


    Judges of this court must be under the age of 70 and serve in "good behavior.


    The chief justice is appointed by the governor with executive council approval and serves until age 70, as well.

    Term of Office

    Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court hold tenured appointments until they reach 70 years old.

    Limit on Tenure

    The age of mandatory retirement.

    Chief salary


    Associates salary


    Qualification age

    Judges of this court must be under the age of 70.

    The Appeals Court

    Justices of the appeals court review decisions from the trial court, as well as decisions of state agencies such as the Appellate Tax Board and the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board.


    have at least 13 years of legal experience and training,be a state bar member in good standing, be a U.S. citizen,be a resident of Massachusetts.


    The justices of the appeals court are selected by gubernatorial appointment from a nominating commission, with approval of the governor's council.

    Term of Office

    Justices serve essentially lifetime appointments.

    Limit on Tenure

    There is a mandatory retirement age of 70.



    Qualification age

    Be 70 years old or younger.

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    Massachusetts Congressional Districts
    Massachusetts US Districts