Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin
Contact: Debra O'Malley
November 19, 2020


Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin has announced that more than  3.6 million ballots were cast in Massachusetts in the November 3, 2020 election,  shattering the previous record by nearly 300,000 votes.

Local election officials in Massachusetts had until yesterday to complete certification of their election results, and after a canvass of those results, Galvin’s office  has determined that 3,657,972 voters participated, which is equal to 76% of registered  voters. The 2016 Presidential Election held the previous record for the highest number of  ballots cast with 3,378,801 voters participating.

“I am thrilled that turnout in this election exceeded even my own high expectations, with a record number of voters participating” Galvin said. “Even in the  midst of a global pandemic, our voters showed up in the way that worked best for them,  whether it was on Election Day, by mail, or during early voting.”

In a press conference held the day before Election Day, Galvin had projected that  3.6 million ballots would be cast, based on his analysis of early and absentee voting. 


October 25, 2020


After being notified this morning a fire had been set in a ballot drop box in Boston, Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin has contacted U.S. Attorney  Andrew Lelling’s office and asked that the FBI investigate what appears to be deliberate  attack.

Galvin’s office was notified by the Boston Elections Department on Sunday of a fire set at approximately 4 a.m. in the ballot drop box outside of the Boston Public  Library Main Branch in Copley Square. The drop box had last been emptied by the  Boston Elections Department at 2:29 p.m. on Saturday. 

According to an inventory by the Boston Elections Department, there were 122  ballots inside the drop box when it was emptied this morning, 87 of which were legible  and able to be processed. Voters may track their ballots at to confirm receipt. Those who are not able to confirm their ballot status through the  website, and who used the Copley Square drop box between 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and 4 a.m. on Sunday are urged to contact the Boston Elections Department immediately.

Affected voters will be mailed a replacement ballot by the City of Boston and will have the option of casting that replacement ballot or voting in person until 8 p.m. on  Election Day. If any affected voter does not submit a new ballot, their original ballot will  be hand-counted to the extent possible.

In a joint statement issued today, Galvin and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh urged voters not to be intimidated by attempts to interfere with this election.

“What happened in the early hours of this morning to the ballot drop box in Copley Square is a disgrace to democracy, a disrespect to the voters fulfilling their civic  duty, and a crime,” the statement reads. “Our first and foremost priority is maintaining  the integrity of our elections process and ensuring transparency and trust with our voters,  and any effort to undermine or tamper with that process must be prosecuted to the fullest  extent of the law. We ask voters not to be intimidated by this bad act, and remain  committed to making their voices heard in this and every election.”

In light of the concern over malicious attacks on drop boxes, Galvin has also directed all local election officials around the commonwealth to increase security of drop  boxes. Galvin is urging officials to employ drop box guards and video surveillance and to  empty drop boxes frequently. 


October 22, 2020


Secretary Galvin is urging all Massachusetts citizens to make sure they are registered to vote before it is too late. This Saturday, October 24th, is the last day for  those who want to vote in the November 3rd Presidential Election to register to vote or  update their registration.

“This is your absolute last chance to get registered for November,” Galvin said.  “Even if you think you are registered, you should still double check. If you moved since  you last voted, make sure you’re registered where you live now. If you aren’t registered  by Saturday, you can’t vote.”

Galvin is reminding voters that online voter registration is available to those who  have a Massachusetts driver’s license or RMV-issued state identification card at Voters who cannot register online may still register by  mail or in person until Saturday.

“Every local election office will be offering in-person voter registration in at least  one location on Saturday until 8 p.m.,” Galvin said. “Most cities and towns are also  offering registration at their early voting sites, so you can register and vote at the same  time.”

Voter registrations deadlines this year were extended by 10 days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The extension means that voters in Massachusetts may register to  vote during the early voting period for the first time.

Galvin’s office is also reminding voters that online registration forms must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. and mail-in voter registration forms must be  postmarked no later than October 24th in order for the registration to be effective for the  November 3rd election. 


October 16, 2020


Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin is reminding Massachusetts  voters that in-person early voting begins tomorrow, October 17th. Early voting will  continue each day through October 30th.
Every city and town will offer early voting in at least one location Saturday and  Sunday. Early voting is available to all registered voters who have not already returned a  mail-in ballot.

Voters who have previously applied to vote by mail and would now prefer to vote  in person may do so at any early voting location in their city or town, as long as they have  not already voted by mail. Early voting locations also serve as ballot drop-off centers for  voters who wish to return their mail-in ballots in person. 

“This year, we have expanded the early voting period to be 14 days long, so that  those who want to vote in person may choose the time that works best for them, over a  period of many days to help avoid crowding,” Galvin said. “Because of voter enthusiasm,  the first day of early voting is often the busiest day. If you want to vote at a time when  there will be fewer people around, weekday voting is also available.”

In addition to the two weekends included in the early voting period this year, early voting must be offered in every city and town during the local election office’s  regular business hours, and municipalities may choose to extend those hours.

Every early voting location in Massachusetts is required to be set up for social distancing and safe voting. Election workers will be limiting crowding inside voting  locations and keeping surfaces and implements sanitized. 

Voters may find a complete listing of early voting locations and schedules at 


September 23, 2020


Voters in Massachusetts may now apply for their Vote by Mail ballots online, Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin announced this morning. 

Voters who have not already applied for a November ballot may use the portal  available at to request a ballot from their local election  office. Before requesting the ballot, each voter will need to verify their voter registration  information. 

“This new portal is just one more way for voters to request their ballots by mail  this year,” Galvin said. “This online system will be helpful for those voters who are away  from home right now, and did not receive the Vote by Mail applications that were mailed  to them recently.”

“My hope is that this new online portal will cut down on the time it takes for voters to apply for their ballots, by eliminating the need for a local election official to  wait for the application to arrive in the mail,” Galvin continued. “This will allow voters  to get their ballots sooner and return them in plenty of time for them to be counted.” 

Galvin’s office has been working to build a secure and accessible online ballot  request portal since a new law was passed in early July which allows all registered voters  to vote by mail this year. The same law allows voters to sign ballot applications  electronically and to request ballots via an online portal provided by Galvin’s office.


September 11, 2020


Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin is advising every voter who  has not already submitted a Vote by Mail application to keep an eye on their mailbox in  the coming days. 

As required by state law, Galvin’s office is mailing Vote by Mail applications to  all registered voters who have not already submitted an application for a Vote by Mail  ballot. Voters who have already applied for a November ballot need not re-apply.

“We are not mailing applications to voters who have already applied, so there is  no need to worry if you do not receive one in the mail this time,” Galvin said. 

Voters who wish to confirm receipt of their Vote by Mail application may do so at, which will show a “pending” November ballot for anyone  who already has an application on file. Ballots are expected to start being mailed by the  first week of October.

The Vote by Mail applications being mailed to voters this week are postage pre paid and pre-addressed to each voter’s local election office. Voters are encouraged to  apply early in order to ensure timely delivery of their ballots. 

The United States Postal Service advises voters to submit their applications no  later than October 20th. Ballots that are not received by local election officials on or  before Election Day must arrive no later than November 6th and be postmarked by  November 3rd in order to be counted.

Expanded in-person voting will also be available this year, from October 17-30.  Four days of weekend voting will be held in every community during that period. Those  planning to vote in person do not need to submit their Vote by Mail applications.  Additional Vote by Mail applications may be found at 


July 6, 2020


Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin has announced that his office  is moving forward immediately to implement a new law that will allow all registered  voters in Massachusetts to vote by mail this fall, with no excuse necessary.

The bill, signed into law today by Governor Charles D. Baker, closely tracks a  proposal Galvin released back in May in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am very pleased that this bill has been signed into law, allowing voters and election officials to plan for everyone to be able to vote safely this fall,” Galvin said. “I  am also glad the new law includes the additional in-person early voting I proposed for  both the primary and the election.”

Under the new law, all registered voters who wish to vote by mail will be able to  do so. Additionally, in-person voting will be expanded, in an effort to make voting more  convenient, and also reduce the risk of crowding in polling places.

For the first time, in-person early voting will be available for the State Primary,  taking place August 22-28. The in-person early voting period for the November State  Election has been expanded to include 2 weekends, and will be held October 17-30. 

Voters can find more information about their voting options on Galvin’s website,