City of Boston voting guide
The City of Boston’s Election Department has announced its preparations ahead of the state primary taking place on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. In addition to early voting and ballot drop box locations, these preparations include expanded voter access created by the VOTES Act and the addition of new voting precincts from the Boston Election Department’s Precinct Adjustment Plan.
The VOTES Act includes new policies aimed at increasing access to voting opportunities and makes vote-by-mail and early voting options permanent.
The City also previously announced the addition of 20 new voting precincts, following the Boston Election Precinct Adjustment Plan completed in October 2021, which aimed to increase voting accessibility by distributing voters equitably across precincts. The number of voting precincts have now increased from 255 to 275. Due to these additions, the City of Boston is advising voters that they may experience a change in their precinct and polling location.
The Elections Department will be conducting outreach in the coming months to ensure that residents are aware of any change to their polling location ahead of the primary and general elections. Voters can also check their registration status via the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website to find their election day polling location.
On the ballot
The Sept. 6, 2022 state primary will include candidates for the following offices:
- representative in congress
- lieutenant governor
- attorney general
- secretary of the commonwealth
- state treasurer
- state auditor
- governor’s council
- state senator
- state representative
- district attorney
Vote by mail
Applications for vote-by-mail ballots have been mailed out to every voter in Boston. To be eligible to vote by mail in the state primary, voters must return their applications to the Boston Election Department by Monday, Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. Vote-by-mail applications can be returned by U.S. mail using the prepaid postcard, in person at the Boston Election Department (located at Boston City Hall, Room 241), or by emailing email@example.com.
If you’re applying for a primary ballot and you are not registered in a party, you must indicate which party’s ballot you want to receive. If you do not provide a party on your application, you will not receive a primary ballot.
If a voter did not receive a vote-by-mail application or misplaced the application, vote-by-mail application forms are available for download on the city’s vote-by-mail website. Applications can be submitted by mail, email or fax. If you’re emailing your application, you need to sign it in a way that can be compared to your handwritten signature. Electronic signatures, scanned applications, and photos of applications are acceptable. Typed signatures cannot be accepted.
Once a voter receives their ballot package, they should follow the enclosed instructions. It is important to sign the yellow ballot affidavit envelope. Unsigned ballot affidavit envelopes will cause a ballot to be rejected.
Ballot drop boxes
The Boston Election Department has placed 21 ballot drop boxes around the City, including at both the first and third floor entrances of Boston City Hall. All drop boxes are monitored under 24-hour video surveillance. Drop boxes will also be available at each early voting location during the scheduled voting hours. To find a ballot drop box location, visit here. Voters can track their ballot through the state’s website.
To be counted, ballots must be received by the Boston Election Department or in a ballot drop box by the close of polls on Election Day, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 at 8 p.m. Ballots cannot be returned to a polling location.
In-person early voting
Voters registered in Boston can vote during the early voting period from Saturday, Aug. 27 through Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, at any of the early voting sites. Hours and locations for early voting can be found here.
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.
Voting on Election Day
Polling locations for the state primary will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. As a reminder, voters should check their registration status via the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.
Ballots will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese. Language assistance will be available on Election Day by interpreters at polling locations or by contacting the Election Department’s interpreters phone bank. Those interested in volunteering can apply to be a poll worker here.
For more information on how to participate in this year’s elections, please visit boston.gov/election.