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?

Since July 2012, you have been able to 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: Deval Patrick (Democrat) or email through the Governor's website by clicking here.

State Senator (Needham precincts A, B, C, I, and J): Richard J. Ross (Republican) or email Richard.Ross@masenate.gov.

State Senator (Needham precincts D, E, F, G, and H): Michael F. Rush (Democrat) or email Mike.Rush@masenate.gov.

Representative in General Court: Denise C. Garlick (Democrat) or email denise.garlick@mahouse.gov.

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 6:45 am until 8 pm for local elections and from 7:00 am until 8 pm for state elections.

LWV-Needham can assist with rides to the polls. If you need a ride to the polls on election day (12:30 pm - 4:00 pm) please email president@lwv-needham.org and provide your full name and phone number. A LWV member will contact you by phone to arrange a pick-up time and place.

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.
http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/myelectioninfo.php provides voter information from the Secretary of State's web site.
http://www.votinginfo.info is a Massachusetts-based on-line database for web reminders, newsletters and on-line contests especially for voters ages 18-24.
http://www.rockthevote.com has excellent information on developing high school "street teams" to get out the vote.
http://www.smackdownyourvote.com is partnered with the League to encourage young voters. Check out their 18-30 VIP brochure.
http://www.vote411.org/ provides election information for any state in the country.

Civic Education

For information on any of these programs email civiced@lwv-needham.org

Programs for Youths and Seniors

18 year old Birthday Packets are distributed to Needham High School students on their eighteenth birthday, through the Needham High School Student Council. The packet contains: 1) an original birthday card created by LWVN members in red, white and blue that contains information on the importance of voting, registering to vote, suggested internet site, and close elections; 2-3) two LWV-Mass pamphlets about voting in Massachusetts, absentee balloting, importance of voting; 4) "Voters' Bill of Rights"; and 5) copy of U.S. Constitution. Read an article about this program in the Needham Hometown Weekly.

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.

Model Town Meeting for high school and possible middle school students.

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

Follow the Money was a program developed by LWVN and Town Officials that provided information to help citizens of Needham better understand their local government.

How to Run for Town Meeting is a video that was produced in 2011 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 firsttime 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