Uniform Polling Hours Cost Certifications

The Division of Local Mandates certifies the first three hours of Election Day expenses that satisfy the Uniform Polling Hours Law based on its mandate determination.

In 1983, the Legislature passed the Uniform Polling Hours Law (St. 1983, c. 503), which mandated that cities and towns open polling locations for 13 hours (7 a.m. to 8 p.m.) on state and presidential primary and general election days rather than the previously required 10 hours (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Recognizing that this would be an unfunded mandate on these communities, the Legislature also included language in the bill directing the State Auditor to certify the added poll operation costs communities face to provide these three additional voting hours. Based on this certification, the Secretary of the Commonwealth provides funding to communities to offset their expenses.

Notice: DLM has concluded the Uniform Polling Hours cost certification process for the 2024 election season. The Secretary of the Commonwealth will disburse all monies to communities, with the first one-third distributed prior to the March 2024 primary and the final two-thirds prior to the September 2024 primary. Please refer to the Division of Local Services’ legal bulletin on Uniform Polling Hours distributions for more information.

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1 Winter St., 9th Floor, Boston, MA 02108



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