Registration and Voting


Any citizen of the United States who is a Massachusetts resident and who will be 18 years old by Election Day may register to vote. For details on registering to vote in Harvard, see the information on the town website’s Voter Registration page.

Registration is permanent in Massachusetts. Voters need to register again only if they move to another city or town or change their name. Change of address should be sent to the Board of Registrars in writing.

When to Register

There is no waiting period to be eligible to register. If voters move, they may register immediately after moving to their new home. Registration is closed for a brief period before each election to allow election officials time to prepare the voting lists.

Registration is closed:

  • 28 days before presidential primaries, regular state primaries and elections
  • 20 days before city or town elections, town meetings, special primaries and special elections
  • 10 days before Special Town Meetings

Voters who register during a “closed” period will be eligible to vote only in later elections. See the Election & Town Meeting Calendar on the town website for specific dates each year, including deadlines for registration.

Where to Register

You may register to vote at any city or town hall in the state during their regular business hours and at any special registration session. Students may register at the Bromfield School. The Town Clerk’s office is located in the Harvard Town Hall. Check for current days and hours open by telephoning 978-456-4103.

How to Register

Go to any registration place and complete an affidavit of registration, which must be answered truthfully under the penalty of perjury. The questions on the affidavit will include name, residence and date of birth.

Upon registration, the voter’s name, address and party preference will be added to Harvard’s voting list. This list is used on Election Day to identify and check off the names of registered voters when they come to the polling place to vote.

When to Vote

  • National elections are on the first Tuesday, after the first Monday, in November in even-numbered years.
  • Massachusetts participates in “Super Tuesday” national primary elections, the first Tuesday in March of Presidential Selection Years.
  • State primary elections are usually on the seventh Tuesday preceding a biennial state election.
  • State elections are on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in even-numbered years.
  • Town elections are on the first Tuesday after the Annual Town Meeting.

Where to Vote

Voting is held in the cafeteria of the Bromfield School, Massachusetts Avenue (Route 111), from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The location is accessible to the elderly and persons with disabilities.

How to Vote

As a voter enters the polling place, he or she gives their name to an election official and obtains a paper ballot. Sample ballots and instruction cards are posted at the polling place. Election offices are required by law to help if a voter does not understand the voting procedures. Anyone who is physically disabled or cannot read English may request assistance. Unless help is requested, a voter enters the voting booth and votes alone. After marking their ballot in the voting booth, the voter again gives their name to an election official and then places their ballot in the ballot box.

Absentee Voting

Absentee ballots are available upon written application from the Town Clerk, no later than noon of the day before the election.

Registered voters who are regularly out of town, (i.e., businessmen and college students) may have ballots sent to their homes or schools. See the clerk for details. Absentee ballots do not have to be notarized.

More information

The Harvard Town Clerk, P.O. Box 220, Harvard (978-456-4103) will be glad to answer any questions. State election officials are available at the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office, 617-727-2828 or 800-462-8683.