Making a difference in children’s lives: A guide to the 2022 election season

Three sets of hands hold up signs that say, "Vote," "Your voice, your vote," and "Vote for Children's Health."
Massachusetts has made it easier for its residents to vote in the 2020 elections. (Images: Adobe Stock, Illustrations: Patrick Bibbins, Boston Children's)

Voting is your right and your way to make a difference in children’s lives. When you cast your vote, you’re letting elected officials know where you stand on issues such as access to health care, behavioral health, and child nutrition programs.

In this spirit of civic engagement, Boston Children’s Hospital encourages all eligible citizens to make their voices heard in the voting booth this year.

Massachusetts election date: primary is Sept 6; Early voting for primary is Aug 27-Sept 2. General election is Nov 8; Early voting for general election is Oct 22-Nov 4

2022 Massachusetts voters’ guide

What will be on the ballot?

Elections on all governmental levels are important and impact the everyday lives of children and families. This year, the Massachusetts state legislature passed policies that aim to increase access to public benefits for families, fund early education and care, address the behavioral health boarding crisis, and much more. State and local officials frequently affect the lives of children in direct and meaningful ways, which is why it’s so important to make sure that every voice counts during non-presidential election years.

This year the ballot will include many federal, state, and local offices, including the following:

  • Representatives in Congress
  • Governor and Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • State Treasurer
  • State Auditor
  • Governor’s Council
  • State Senator and State Representative
  • District Attorney
  • Sheriff
  • County Commissioner (only in certain counties)

To find out who currently represents you, click here.

To find out who is running in your district for the state primary, click here.

How can I vote?

During the 2020 elections, Massachusetts implemented new and easier ways to vote in order to keep people safe in response to COVID-19. In addition to in-person voting, Massachusetts has made several measures permanent, including mail-in voting and early voting, that make voting more accessible and convenient for everyone.

Here’s what you need to know about all the ways you can vote this year.

Voter registration deadlines 2022: By Saturday, August 27, to vote in the primary election; by Saturday, October 29 to vote in the general election.

Registering to vote

If you’re not already a registered voter or aren’t sure if you are, you can look up your status and register online. You can also register by mail or in person at any city or town hall in the state.

If you recently moved, you can update your voter registration to your new address by visiting the Online Voter Registration System and clicking “Update address and/or party.” You must update your address before the voter registration deadline, otherwise you must return to vote at your previous polling place in Massachusetts. You can vote from a previous address in a state election for up to six months after you have moved.

If you renewed your driver’s license or applied for MassHealth benefits this year, you may already be registered. These and other transactions with the Registry of Motor Vehicles, MassHealth, or the Commonwealth Health Connector include the option to register to vote automatically.

Massachusetts voters can register to vote online, by mail, or in person.

Voting in person

Voting in person continues to be an option, including during early voting periods and on Election Day.

Don’t know where to go to cast your vote?

Enter your address into the Secretary of State’s website to find your polling location. Be sure to check before each election as they sometimes change.

Early voting for primary election: Aug 27-Sept 2. Early voting for general election: Oct 22 to Nov 4.

Voting early

To reduce the number of voters gathered at any given time and to provide convenient hours, Massachusetts has made permanent its early voting options for all elections. Early voting will take place for seven days before the state primary and for 14 days before the general election, including weekends.

To vote by mail, your local election office must receive your application by Monday, Aug 29, for the primary and general election, and by Tuesday, Nov 1, for the general election only.

Voting by mail

Massachusetts has made permanent the option to vote by mail for any registered voter. Vote-by-mail applications were sent to all registered voters in the state in July.

If you haven’t received an application, or if you registered to vote after July 1, you can download an application or send a signed written request to your local election office.

Be sure to return your application as soon as possible. Your local election office must receive your application at least four business days before the election so they can mail you a ballot and you can return it in time for it to be counted.

All ballots must be postmarked for Election Day in order to be counted.

There are several ways to return your ballot once you receive it:

Massachusetts voting resources

The Massachusetts Elections Division provides up-to-date resources for Massachusetts voters. You can look up your status as a registered voter (active or inactive), register to vote if you’re not already registered, and find information about your options for voting this year.

If you have specific questions, you can always contact your local elections office. Here is a comprehensive list of local election offices.

To get involved in Boston Children’s voter registration efforts, email the Children’s Advocacy Network.

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