Boston Election Department Approves Early Voting Plan

In response to Boston City Council Order # 0387, an order for a hearing regarding the 2016 Presidential and State Elections procedures sponsored by Councilor Bill Linehan, the Boston Election Department approved an early voting plan.

During the 2012 Presidential Election, some of the most populous precincts in the city experienced long lines and unreasonable waits to vote. Based on voters’ concerns in 2012, Councilor Linehan initiated the order for a hearing. Because equal access to vote is a fundamental right in America, it was important to review the elections procedures to ensure the most efficient way of voting for all residents of Boston.

On Thursday June 30th in the Iannella Chamber, Councilor McCarthy, Chair of the Committee on City, Neighborhood Services, and Veteran Affairs, held a hearing in which the City of Boston’s Elections Commissioner presented preparations for the 2016 presidential and state elections and took recommendations from Councilors. It was a robust hearing which resulted in a solid plan of action for the upcoming Election.

The Boston Election Department’s Early Voting Plan includes the following:

  • Boston City Hall will be the main Early Voting site and will offer voting opportunities Monday through Friday during the EV period, as well as 5 evenings.
  • 27 One-day voting centers will be provided with 3 in each of the 9 City Council Districts. Voting centers will be open from 2:00 pm until 8:00 pm to provide evening voting opportunities during the workweek based on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule.
  • One Saturday October 29th, there will be 9 voting centers open from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
  • Any registered Boston voter can vote at any voting center or they may request an Early Voting ballot by mail.
  • The plan provides for a total of 257 hours of in-person early voting, in addition to early voting by mail.
  • Additional sets of Registered Voter Lists and staff will be added to precincts with large populations to move lines more quickly.  Boston precincts vary in size: the lowest populated is 800, while the highest is 7,000.
  • Multi precinct locations will separate queuing lines prior to entrance into the building to be more efficient.

District Two has five of the top ten populated precincts in the City of Boston. Three additional centers will be available for early voting: Metropolitan Condominium MS, 38 Oak Street in Chinatown; Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, 41 Berkley Street in Bay Village; James F Condon School, 200 D Street in South Boston; along with the City Hall Election Department location.

“I am pleased with the improvements of our Election Department and the leadership of Commissioner Dion Irish,” said Councilor Linehan.

Reminder that the State Primary Election will be held on Thursday, September 8th this year.

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