Under federal law students may declare themselves residents of Williamstown if they wish to vote here. In compliance with Commonwealth of Massachusetts law, mail–in voter registration forms for students wishing to register to vote in Massachusetts are available online (http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm). For students from other states who desire to vote in a state other than Massachusetts, the Federal mail–in affidavit or a mail–in form supplied by that state may be used. The student must contact the appropriate state election official to receive the state form, call or write the Massachusetts Elections Division for a Federal form, or download a form (http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx).
The rights and privileges of Williamstown voters are: to vote in all local, state, and federal elections; to attend and participate in Town Meetings; to serve on any town committee; to run for elective office; and to sign petitions and nomination papers. Before making the decision to become legal residents of Williamstown, however, students should inform themselves fully about certain implications thereof, such as: the possibility that their belongings at college would no longer be covered by their parents’ personal property insurance policy, the state law that requires all new residents with motor vehicles to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license and motor vehicle registration (with compulsory liability insurance and annual excise tax) within thirty days of taking up legal residence here, and the state income tax.