Can I Register to Vote When I Apply for SNAP?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 2023

Yes! DTA is mandated by federal law to ask all SNAP and cash assistance household members who are over age 17 and U.S. citizens if they wish to register to vote for any federal elections. 52 U.S. Code § 20506( Massachusetts state law also allows 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote, M.G.L. 51 §42. Here’s what you should know:

  • When you apply, recertify or change your address for your SNAP or cash assistance case, DTA is required to tell you how you can register to vote and assist you with voter registration. 106 C.M.R. § 360.950.
  • If you apply, recertify or change your address in person, DTA is required under federal law to physically hand you a Voter Registration packet. If you do this online or by phone, DTA is also supposed to mail you a letter with a Voter Registration Form.
  • If you complete a Voter Registration Form through DTA, DTA is required to send the completed form to your city/town election office with 5 business days.

Important: Voter registration is optional. DTA will not deny or close your SNAP case if you choose to not fill out a Voter Registration Form.  

If you have a current MA state ID or driver's license, you can also register to vote online, or get forms mailed to you. Go to the Secretary of State’s Register to Vote webpage for more information on how to register.

Homeless individuals using the voter registration form can use the map on the form to indicate a location for voting purposes if they do not have a "conventional" address.

DTA Online Guide: See Appendix G for links to the DTA's BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.

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