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Super Tuesday voting in Massachusetts: Here’s everything voters need to know

BOSTON — Get ready to cast your ballot, Massachusetts voters. Super Tuesday is here!

On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, Bay State voters will head to the polls to vote in the presidential primaries, and some cities and towns will also have local elections.

For the presidential race, the elections are a crucial moment for President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, who are the overwhelming front-runners for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, respectively, the Associated Press reported. As the day with the most delegates up for stake, strong performances by Biden and Trump would move them much closer to becoming their party’s nominee.

Trump has dominated the race and his last major rival in the race, his onetime U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, is struggling to keep up, the Associated Press reported. She lost the Feb. 27 primary in Michigan by more than 40 percentage points. She even lost her home state of South Carolina, where she was twice elected governor, by more than 20 percentage points.

Locally, there is a special state election for state representative in the 6th Worcester Representative District, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Rep. Peter Durant. Republicans David S. Adams of Southbridge and John J. Marsi, Jr. of Dudley are vying for the seat.

Massachusetts is among 15 states taking to the polls for Super Tuesday, including Vermont, Maine, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. The U.S. territory of American Samoa will also vote that day.

Secretary of State William Francis Galvin’s office offered the following tips for voters:

Am I Eligible to Vote

To vote, you must be a US citizen, a resident of the state you’re voting in, and 18 years old before election day.

When to Vote

Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for all state primaries and elections. Cities and towns are allowed to open their polling places as early as 5:45 a.m. Polling hours will vary by community for municipal elections. If you’re in line when the polls close, you will still be able to vote.

Check with your local election office for voting hours for local elections.

Where to vote

Massachusetts is divided into voting precincts. Each precinct has an assigned polling place. You’ll get a notice in the mail with your polling place information after you register to vote. You have to vote at your assigned polling place if you are voting on Election Day.

You can find your polling place online if you don’t know the location.

How to Vote

Check-In

When you get to your polling place, get in line to check in. Some polling places are for more than one precinct, so make sure you’re in the right line.

When you reach the check-in table, give the poll worker your address and your name.

If you’re voting in a primary as an unenrolled voter or a member of a political designation, you’ll need to choose one party’s ballot.

The poll worker must repeat your name, address, and party choice back to you before marking the information on the voter list.

You might need to show identification when you check in.

There are a few reasons that you may be required to show identification when you check in. If you registered by mail and it is your first time voting in Massachusetts, federal law may require you to show identification. You may also be asked to show identification if you are an inactive voter, you are casting a challenged ballot, or you are casting a provisional ballot. Please see “Showing Identification” below, for more information on these types of ballots.

Mark Your Ballot

After you check-in, the poll worker will give you your ballot. If your ballot is going to be put into an electronic tabulator, the poll worker will offer you a secrecy sleeve so you can cover your ballot after you vote.

Go into the voting booth and mark your ballot. Ballots are marked either by filling in ovals, connecting arrows, or marking an “X” next to the candidate or question. Read the top of your ballot to find out which way you should mark your ballot.

If you need help marking your ballot due to physical disability, inability to read, or inability to read English, you may bring anyone of your choosing into the voting booth with you. Alternatively, you may ask for the assistance of two poll workers (by law, the political parties of the two poll workers assisting you should be different from each other).

If you would prefer to mark your ballot independently, you may use the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal, which is available in every polling place. The AutoMARK will read the ballot to you and mark the choices that you indicate. Watch this AutoMARK Video for more information on the AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminal.

Check-Out

When you have finished marking your ballot, you may be asked to proceed to a check-out table, where you will once again be asked for your address and then your name. Again, if you are and unenrolled (commonly referred to as independent) voter or a member of a political designation and you are voting in a primary, you will be asked to inform the poll worker of the ballot that you chose. The poll worker must repeat all of this information back to you and mark it on the voter list.

Cast Your Ballot

After you check-out, go to the ballot box. Most cities and towns use optical scan ballots. Put your ballot into the machine so it can tally your vote.

If your city or town counts ballots by hand, fold your ballot in half and put it in the ballot box.

After polls close, poll workers will print out a machine tally from the ballot tabulator. They’ll hand count any write-in ballots and ballots that couldn’t be counted by the machine.

If your polling place hand counts ballots, the poll workers will unlock the ballot boxes and hand count the ballots in teams.

All vote counting and tallying procedures are open to the public. After all the ballots have been counted, the ballots will be sealed in containers and the tally will be announced.

Showing Identification

You may need to show identification when you check in at your polling place if:

  • You are voting for the first time in Massachusetts
  • You’re on the inactive voter list
  • You’re casting a provisional or challenged ballot
  • The poll worker has a practical and legal reason to ask for identification

Identification needs to show your name and the address where you are registered to vote. Examples of acceptable identification are:

  • A driver’s license
  • A state ID card
  • A recent utility bill
  • A rent receipt or lease.
  • A copy of a voter registration affidavit
  • A letter from a school dormitory or housing office
  • Any other printed identification which contains your name and address

If you need to show identification because you’re voting for the first time and you don’t have identification with you, you can cast a provisional ballot. If you return with identification before the polls close, your ballot will be counted.

If you need to show identification for any other reason and you’re not able to do so, you can cast a challenged ballot. Your name and address, the challenger’s name and address, and the reason for the challenge will be written on your ballot. Your ballot will be cast as normal and only examined if there is a recount, court order, or audit.

Not on the List of Voters

If your name does not appear on the list of voters and your registration cannot be verified, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. For more information, see this page on provisional voting.

Political Parties and Designations

You can enroll in a political party or designation when you register to vote. You can enroll as a member of a recognized political party, such as the Republican or Democratic parties, or choose “no party” to be an unenrolled voter (also known as “Independent”).

If you register in a party, you can vote in that party’s primary elections. If you choose “no party,” you can choose which party’s primary election you want to vote in. Voting in a party’s primary election won’t enroll you in that party.

You can also enroll as a member of a political designation. Write the name of your chosen political designation on your voter registration form or select one from the drop-down list on the online registration form. You can change your political party or designation enrollment by submitting a new voter registration form at least 10 days before an election.

Here is a list of Political Parties and Designations.

Mail-in Ballots

If you still have your mail-in ballot, they are due by 8 p.m. tonight so you’ll have to drop it off at a local election office or drop box. Once the polls close, workers will start tallying all the ballots, and we will likely find out the winners shortly after.

Questions or Concerns

If you feel that your right to vote has been violated in any way, call the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Elections Division as soon as possible at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683).

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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