2012 Election Snapshot—Massachusetts

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2012 Election Snapshots 

Over the past several months, Pew collected data about the 2012 presidential election from nearly every state and the District of Columbia. We used the findings to create a snapshot of each jurisdiction, focusing on how many people voted, how long they waited to cast their ballots, how they cast them, and how many ballots were not counted. These snapshots will be released over the coming months, five at a time, and the Election Data Dispatches will take a closer look at the latest snapshots each week.

2012 Election Snapshot—Massachusetts

Massachusetts allows absentee voting only under limited circumstances, such as illness or travel. In the 2012 presidential election, 92 percent of the 3.2 million voters who cast ballots in the state did so in person at the polls on Election Day, and 259,114 people voted by mail.  In 2008, less than 7 percent of Massachusetts’s voters cast absentee ballots. 

Massachusetts also rejects relatively few absentee ballots:

  • In 2012, only 2,498 absentee ballots, less than 1 percent of those returned were rejected. 
  • Of the rejected ballots, 87 percent were rejected because the voters missed the submission deadline.   
  • In 2008, only 1,980 absentee ballots, again less than 1 percent of absentee ballots returned, were rejected.  Massachusetts did not provide reasons for rejecting absentee ballots in 2008.

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