Early voting for state elections begins today
The City of Boston Election Department is reminding registered voters that two weeks of early voting begins today around the City. Voters registered in Boston can vote early in person at any of the 27 early voting sites until Friday, October 30, 2020. Additionally, voters who requested vote-by-mail ballots may return them at any early voting location during its scheduled voting hours, as well as 17 dropboxes through 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020.
Boston City Hall is the main early voting location with early voting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the early voting period. To access this location, voters are encouraged to enter City Hall through the North Side entrance (across from the MBTA Haymarket station) to vote on the second floor in the Haymarket Room.
As a reminder, the last day to register to vote in the November 3 State Election is October 24. The November 3 State Election includes the following races: Senator in Congress, Representative in Congress, Governor's Councillors, Senator in General Court, Representative in General Court, Register of Probate, and Office of the President of the United States. In addition to the races, there are two ballot questions: Law Proposed by Initiative Petition Motor Vehicle Mechanical Data & Law Proposed by Initiative Petition Ranked-Choice Voting, and two public policy questions in State Representative Districts 11, 15, 17 and 18. Voters can view their ballot here.
Due to COVID-19, health and safety protocols during the early voting period and on Election Day will be implemented at polling locations. All poll workers will receive face shields, face masks, gloves, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray and hand sanitizer. Cleaning will take place at each site every two to three hours. Voters waiting in line will be instructed to stand six feet away from others and wear a face covering.
All early voting sites are equipped with electronic poll books for voter check in. Early voting locations are well staffed with poll workers and interpreters, and fully accessible to voters with disabilities. At the end of each day, ballots will be secured and then delivered on Election Day to each voter's precinct to be officially counted with all other ballots.
(Another Course to College Cafeteria, Mayor's Office photo by Isabel Leon)Media guidelines
Members of the media are reminded that certain rules must be followed in order to ensure a smooth voting process for voters.
- Interviews of voters are not allowed inside polling locations and must be done at least 150 feet away.
- Interviews with election officers at the polling locations are not allowed. Interview requests for the Election Department must be directed through the Press Office at 617-635-4461.
- Photos and b-roll shots will be allowed under the supervision of each poll's warden.
- Photographers are reminded that zooming in on voter ballots and shots over the shoulders of voters will not be allowed -- please respect every voter's right to a private ballot.
Massachusetts voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot online or by completing this form and returning it to the City of Boston's Election Department, via mail, email, fax or by dropping it off in person by appointment at Boston City Hall room 241 by October 28. Appointments can be made by calling 617-635-8386.
Voters can then track their ballot request through trackmyballotMA.com. As of October 16, the Boston Election Department has mailed 116,000 ballots to voters who requested one and will continue to mail ballots for all applications as they arrive, until the application deadline of October 28. If residents choose to return their ballots by mail, they must be postmarked by November 3 and received by the Election Department by November 6 to be counted. The United States Postal Service recommends mailing ballots back at least seven days before Election Day.
Registered voters can also submit their completed ballots by November 3 in one of the 17 dropboxes, available 24 hours a day through 8 p.m. on Election Day. Voters may also return their completed ballots at any early voting location during the scheduled voting hours.
(Grove Hall Branch of the Boston Public Library, Mayor's Office photo by Isabel Leon)Voting absentee
To qualify to vote absentee, registered voters must be absent from the City on Election Day, must have a religious belief which prevents them from going inside of a polling location, or have a physical disability which prevents them from going to a polling location. The application to request an absentee ballot can be completed by mail or in person at the Election Department in City Hall. Learn more about applying here.Voting on Election Day
Voters are reminded there are 20 precinct polling location changes this cycle that can be found here. Polling locations will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Election Day on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Individuals can find their polling location for Election Day here. The ballot will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. Language assistance will be available on Election Day by translators at polling locations or by contacting the Election Department's translation phone bank.
For more information on how to participate in this year's elections, please visit boston.gov/election.