Opinion: Register to Vote


Credit: Flickr user magesh

Senior Elizabeth Francis encourages students to vote.

Elizabeth Francis, Wayland Democratic Town Committee

Editor’s Note: This opinion piece was co-written by the Wayland Democratic Town Committee.

Your vote matters.

Recent elections and governmental decisions have highlighted just how much our government affects our daily lives. If any recent national event has struck any sort of chord with you, whether it was something you were in favor of or something you were against, know that you have a voice in what the outcome is. You have a say in the choices that government officials spend hours debating. You have a say in determining who gets to fight for your opinions, and you have a say in how to fix our country’s problems. Here’s how to make sure your voice is heard.

Though you must be 18 years old in order to vote, you can pre-register once you are 16. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, you can submit a voter registration form to your local election official, who will then place your name on the list of pre-registrants. You will then receive a pre-registration notice by mail, confirming receipt of your application. Pre-registration may be done online, by mail or in person at any voter registration location. This ensures that your voice, despite you being underage, will be heard. Pre-registering is an easy and fast way to truly make a difference in the political climate around you.

Once you become old enough to vote, your local election official will mail you an acknowledgment notice, which provides confirmation that your name has been moved from the list of pre-registrants to the list of registered voters. The deadline to register to vote in any election or regular town meeting is 20 days prior to the election or meeting date. Listed below are the three ways to pre-register:

Registering Online:
In order to register to vote online, you must have a signature on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you currently have a Massachusetts driver’s license or state ID card, you may use the online voter registration application to register, update your address or change your party affiliation. Voter registration forms submitted online must be turned in by midnight on the date of the voter registration deadline.

Registering 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 two links provided below. The form must be completed, signed and delivered to your local election official. Voter registration forms submitted by mail must be postmarked no later than the voter registration deadline.

Registering by mail links:



Registering In-Person:
If you would like to register in-person, you may do so at any local election office, as well as at the Elections Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office. Voter registration is also available as part of every transaction at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and at certain public assistance agencies. Voter registration forms completed in-person are valid as of the day that they are signed.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.