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05. Can I register to vote when I apply for SNAP?

ALERT:  Many of the rules in the SNAPAdvocacy Guide do NOT apply during the pandemic. Please go to the following COVID-19 & DTA benefits page: https://www.masslegalservices.org/DTA-COVID-19 until further notice for more information about changes.

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. 42 U.S. Code §1973gg–5.  Massachusetts state law also allows 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote, M.G.L. 51 §42.

When you apply or recertify for SNAP or cash assistance, the DTA worker 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 in person, DTA should hand you a Voter Registration packet. If you do not apply in person, DTA will send you a letter and Voter Registration Form when sending you a notice about your interview. DTA should also give you a packet if you do your SNAP recertification or report an address change in person, or mail you a Voter Registration Form with your SNAP recertification form. If you complete a Voter Registration Form with DTA, DTA is required to send the completed Voter Registration Form to your city or town election office with 5 business days of receipt.

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

You can also register to vote online if you have a current MA state ID or driver license, or get a Form mailed to you from the Massachusetts Secretary of State. Go to the Secretary of State’s Register to Vote web site: Sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm

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:  Cross Programs > Voter Registration > Overview and Administrative Responsibilities > Voter Registration Overview