Making Democracy Work

Voter Information

Voter Information and how to contact your elected officials

Where can you register to vote? Where is your polling place? Who represents you? How can you contact your representatives?

Voter Registration

Are you registered to vote? Do you want to change your party, your address, your name? Do you need to see where the polling places are and see a precinct map of Needham? Do you want to see Needham results of recent elections?

Find information about voter registration in Needham at the Needham Town Clerk website.

Do you need an absentee ballot?

Massachusetts residents can register to vote and check their voter registration status online at the Secretary of State's website.

If you do not qualify to register to vote online, or if you would prefer to register by mail, you can print a voter registration form from the Massachusetts Secretary of State's website and mail it in! Visit Voter Registration Information for more details and the link to the form.

Contacting Your Elected Officials

Senator in Congress: Elizabeth Warren (Democrat) or email through the Senator's website by clicking here.

Senator in Congress: Edward Markey (Democrat) or email through the Senator's website by clicking here.

Representative in Congress (4th Congressional District): Joseph P. Kennedy III (Democrat) or email through the Congressman's website by clicking here.

Governor: Charlie Baker (Republican) or email through the Governor's website by clicking here.

State Senator (Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District, which includes Needham precincts A, B, C, I, and J): Richard J. Ross (Republican) or email

State Senator (Norfolk and Suffolk District, which includes Needham precincts D, E, F, G, and H): Michael F. Rush (Democrat) or email

Representative in General Court (13th Norfolk District): Denise C. Garlick (Democrat) or email

Town of Needham: Board of Selectmen.

Town of Needham: Town Meeting Members.

Needham Polling Locations

Please note there are several new Polling Locations that will become effective with the Annual Town Election on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 and all other elections until further notice. Voters whose polling location has been changed by vote of the Board of Selectmen will receive written notification prior to the Annual Town Election.

For more information about the polling locations, click here.

The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. for all elections.

LWV-Needham can assist with rides to the polls. To request a ride to the polls on Election Day, email or call LWV-Needham at 781-343-1031 and leave a message, providing your full name and phone number. Someone will contact you to arrange a pick-up time. Please contact us at least 24 hours in advance.

Improving Elections and Voter Turnout in Massachusetts

The 2014 Election Modernization Law calls for online voter registration, early voting, pre- registration of teens, post-election audits and a task force to evaluate these reforms and recommend additional changes.

Specifically the law calls for the following:

  • Online Voter Registration:
    Effective: June 2015
    The law allows anyone with a driver's license or RMV-issued ID to register to vote online. All Massachusetts residents can check their voter registration status at this website.

  • Pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds:
    Effective: August 2016
    The law allows 16- and 17-year-olds to register at the RMV, online, or using paper voter registration forms, and they will receive notification and automatically go on the voter rolls when they turn 18.

  • Early Voting:
    Effective: Presidential Election, November 2016
    The law allows early voting only in the regularly-scheduled biennial state elections, i.e., November of even-numbered years. There is no provision allowing early voting to be expanded to primaries or town/municipal elections.
    The law allows early voting to start the Monday two weeks before the election and end on the Friday before the election, during normal business hours. Any weekend early voting would have to be the weekend before the weekend before the election.
    The law permits more than one early voting location and hours beyond regular election office business hours at the discretion of towns and cities.

  • Post-election audits of randomly-selected precincts after Presidential elections.

  • Creation of an elections task force to study additional issues, including cost of early voting and need for additional sites and hours, voter fraud, wait times, and Election Day voter registration.

2012 Legislative Redistricting Information

Legislative districts are evaluated every ten years after the decennial federal census. Changes took effect after November 2012's election. Needham moved from the 9th Congressional District (Rep. Stephen Lynch) to the 4th Congressional District (Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III).

Needham's State Representative is Denise Garlick, whose district is known as the 13th Norfolk District, and did not change.

After November's election, Needham became part of two state Senate districts. Needham's revised precincts A, B, C, I, and J remained in the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex district, represented by Senator Richard Ross, while precincts D, E, F, G, and H are part of the Suffolk and Norfolk district, represented by Senator Michael Rush.

A map showing Needham's Voter Precincts can be found as a PDF at the Town's website.

Voter Information

Needham Town Meeting Handbook at the Town of Needham website provides information about Town Meeting, Needham's legislative body. provides voter information from the Secretary of State's web site. has excellent information on developing high school "street teams" to get out the vote. is partnered with the League to encourage young voters. Check out their 18-30 VIP brochure.
The Brennan Center for Justice Student Voting Guide has information especially for college students. provides election information for any state in the country.

Civic Education

For information on any of these programs email

Programs for Youths and Seniors

Advocacy unit at Needham High School. A LWVN member developed and teaches this program of 3-4 sessions for students in Advanced Placement American History courses in May after the exams.

Needham High School voter registration. LWVN and the NHS Social Studies Department, identify students eligible to register to vote and invite them to register during home room period twice per year.

Current events at Senior Center in Needham. A LWV-Needham member is co-leading sessions for 15-20 people, two Tuesdays a month.

Programs for Everyone

Annual Civics Bee. A Civics Bee is a fun, community-building event to encourage knowledge of government and increase civic engagement. Teams of three (adults, high school students and/or eighth graders) answer questions on our local, state and federal governments. This free event is intended to spur civic engagement and interest and will be a fun competition. The Civics Bee is co-sponsored by LWV-Needham and the Needham School Department.

Thinking of serving on one of Needham's elected boards, committees, or commissions? Needham has ten elected boards. To help residents learn more about each of the elected boards, roles and responsibilities, terms of office, etc., the League and the Needham Channel have produced Needham's Elected Boards. Members from the ten elected boards provide insight into each board and the volunteer positions that keep the town running.

Interested in running for Town Meeting but not sure where to start? How to Run for Town Meeting is a video that was produced by the Needham League of Women Voters in association with The Needham Channel. Have you ever wondered what makes Needham work? It's government is based on a tradition that has been around for close to three centuries - the town meeting. The best thing about it is that you can be a part of it. Find out about how the town runs and why it needs you to help shape its future.

Programs for LWV-Needham Members

Book review. Each fall the Civic Education Committee selects a book to be reviewed and leads a discussion in the spring.

Massachusetts Voters Bill of Rights

1. You have the right to vote if you are a qualified registered voter.

2. You have the right to cast your ballot in a manner that ensures privacy. You have the right to vote without any person trying to influence your vote and to vote in a booth that prevents others from watching you mark your ballot.

3. You have the right to remain in the voting booth for five minutes if there are other voters waiting and for ten minutes if there are no other voters waiting.

4. You have the right to receive up to two replacement ballots if you make a mistake and spoil your ballot.

5. You have the right to request assistance when voting from a poll worker or anyone of your choice.

6. You have the right to vote if you are disabled. The polling place must be accessible, and there must be an accessible voting booth.

7. You have the right to vote if you cannot read or write or cannot read or write English.

8. You have the right to vote but must show identification if: you are a first-time voter who registered to vote by mail and did not submit identification with the voter registration form; or your name is on the inactive voter list; or your vote is being challenged; or if requested by a poll worker. Acceptable forms of identification are: Massachusetts driver's license, other printed documentation containing your name and address such as a recent utility bill, rent receipt on landlord's letterhead, lease, or a copy of a voter registration acknowledgment or receipt.

9. You have the right to vote by absentee ballot if: you will be absent from your city or town on Election Day; or if you have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place; or if you cannot vote at the polls due to religious belief.

10. You have the right to cast a provisional ballot if you believe you are a qualified registered voter but a poll worker tells you that you are ineligible to vote.

11. You have the right to follow up any challenge to your right to vote through the complaint process.

12. You have the right to vote if you are not currently incarcerated for a felony conviction and have registered as a voter after your release.

13. You have the right to take this Voters' Bill of Rights or any other papers, including a checklist, voter's guide or campaign material into the voting booth with you. Please remember to remove all papers when you leave the booth.

14. You have the right to vote at your polling place any time between 7 am and 8 pm for state and federal elections--hours may vary for local elections. If you are in line at your polling place when the polls close at 8 pm, you have the right to vote.

15. You have the right to bring your children into the voting booth with you. Children may not mark the ballot.

If you feel that your right to vote has been violated in any way, call the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683). This call is free within Massachusetts. Your voting rights are protected. These rights are guaranteed to qualified registered voters.

Massachusetts Voters Bill of Responsibilities

1. It is your responsibility to register to vote at least 20 days before an election. You can register in one of the following locations: at a voter registration drive, your city or town hall, by mail, at the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Office (Boston, Fall River or Springfield), at the Registry of Motor Vehicles or another agency when applying for services.

2. It is your responsibility to fill out the voter registration form truthfully, accurately and completely.

3. It is your responsibility to return the annual local census form to keep your voter status active. If you are an inactive voter, you will be required to show ID at the polls.

4. It is your responsibility to re-register to vote if you move to another community.

5. It is your responsibility to notify your city or town hall if there are any changes in your address within your community or in your name or if you wish to change your political party enrollment.

6. It is your responsibility to re-register to vote if you were convicted of a felony and have completed your jail sentence.

7. It is your responsibility to bring acceptable identification to the polls if you are a first time voter and failed to provide your driver's license number or the last four digits of your social security number with your voter registration form, or if you did provide these numbers, but they could not be verified. Your voter acknowledgement will state if you have to bring ID to the polls. If you are unsure, bring identification when you vote. Identification must include your name and current address, for example: a current and valid driver's license, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document.

8. It is your responsibility to know the hours and location of your polling place. Contact your city or town clerk, the Secretary of the Commonwealth, or the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts.

9. It is your responsibility to request an absentee ballot if you are unable to vote in person on Election Day and are eligible to do so. You are eligible to vote by absentee ballot in Massachusetts if you will be absent from your city or town on Election Day, have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place or cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs. You must request an absentee ballot by noon the day before Election Day and return it by the time the polls close on Election Day (a different deadline applies to those overseas).

10. It is your responsibility to check your ballot for accuracy before casting it. If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask a poll worker for a replacement. If you spoil the second ballot, you can ask for a third, which is your final ballot and will be counted.

11. It is your responsibility to ask for assistance at the polling place if you need it. You can seek help from any person of your choice, including poll workers.

12. It is your responsibility to respect the privacy of other voters.

13. It is your responsibility to refrain from campaigning or influencing other voters within 150 feet of the polling place.

14. It is your responsibility to report problems to a poll worker or to report election law violations to your city or town hall and/or the Secretary of the Commonwealth.

The League of Women Voters encourages all voters to be informed about the candidates and issues in all elections. If you have any questions, please call your local city or town clerk or the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Elections Division at 1-800-462-VOTE (8683). This call is free within Massachusetts. To fulfill your civic duties, exercise your right to vote in all elections responsibly and know your rights as a voter.

Prepared by the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, October 2006