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Law: QuickStart Guide

This guide is intended to serve as a starting point for finding legal information and is intended for public library users and librarians.

Local Government

Massachusetts Residents:

Find your city or town, then find your legislator, cherry sheets, and homepage for charter, bylaws or ordinances, city departments, and more.

Massachusetts Teachers:

Use the Materials and Lesson Plans!

Look Up a City or Town

Some examples by topic.

Books about Massachusetts Cities & Towns


City Directories

Emergency Related Help

Know Your Zone logo

Hurricane zones with a link to individual maps for cities and towns.

Historical Maps & Historic Properties

Home Rule

Incorporation and Settlement Dates

Newton Historic Postcards

The old Newton City Hall in West Newton.

Storm Help

Help for communities.

Elections: Voting Laws, Ballot Questions, Voters Guides, Electoral College

Find laws related to voting.  See voting records of U.S. Senators and Representatives under the Federal Law tab's Legislation box.


STATE-BY-STATE VOTER REGISTRATION : Find My State or Local Election Office Website


Federal Election Commission

 Florence Harding becomes the first First Lady to vote.


I'm interested in finding voting records for members of Congress. Can THOMAS help?


There are several different ways of voting in the House and the Senate, one of which is the roll call vote, where the vote of each member is recorded. Not all bills, in fact, the minority of bills, receive a roll call vote.


The THOMAS home page has a link to roll call votes from 1990 in the House and 1989 in the Senate. Each link lists the roll call votes by sequential roll call number. This number is unrelated to the bill number. You can browse the list of roll call numbers, or you can go to Bill Status in Bill Summary & Status for the given bill and find the vote number (and often a direct link to the roll call vote).


THOMAS does not compile votes by members of Congress. However, the Government Resources page contains resources related to congressional votes.

If you want to know more, the Glossary from will give you quick answers.