The Lit Drop: Janey okays earlier election

Boston’s preliminary elections will take place a week earlier than originally scheduled to help facilitate work associated with mail-in voting should the Legislature extend or make the measure permanent.

Mayor Kim Janey signed the proposal after City Councilors approved the ordinance two weeks ago. The preliminary election will now take place on Sept. 14, giving the city’s election department about 49 days to print and distribute mail ballots should the option become available.

So far, Councilors Michelle Wu, Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, state Rep. Jon Santiago, former city economic development chief John Barros, and Janey have declared their candidacies. Candidates have until May 18 at 5 p.m. to file nomination papers with the Boston Election Department.

Boston residents who are not currently registered to vote must sign up by Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. to participate in the preliminary election. Two candidates will face off in the city’s municipal election on Nov. 2 and residents must register to vote by Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. if they wish to participate.
Mail-in voting provisions expire on June 30, but supporters of the voting reform are hoping the Legislature will act before then to make the new voting option permanent.

Chris Van Buskirk/SHNS

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Ward 15 Democrats will continue their online interview series with candidates for city council this Saturday (May 15). Three at-large hopefuls— Carla Monteiro, Domingos Darosa, and Jonathan Spillane— are on the agenda for this Zoom event, which begins at 10 a.m. Visit their Facebook page or follow Twitter: @Ward15B for log-in information.

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Mattapan native Ruthzee Louijeune claimed to be the first of 25 potential at-large council candidates to be certified for the September ballot on Monday. Her campaign collected more than 2,800 signatures, well beyond the threshold of 1,500 needed for nomination. If elected, she would be the first Haitian-American to serve in city government.

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Six candidates for mayor of Boston participated in a forum hosted by the Boston branch of the NAACP last Thursday, May 6. The event, streamed live on Facebook, revealed few distinctions among the group. One exception: In a lightning round, they were asked if they would support “voting rights in the city… for all residents regardless of citizenship?”

John Barros, Andrea Campbell, Kim Janey, and Michelle Wu answered “yes.” Annissa Essaibi George and Jon Santiago said “no.”

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Janey picked up an endorsement from one of the city’s biggest unions last week: Local 26, the 12,000-member hotel and food workers union, tapped her “unique lived experience and distinct focus on building generational wealth for working families” in their decision.

“I will be standing with Local 26 to ensure that these hotel workers get back on the job – jobs that provide a living wage, critical benefits, and an economic path forward for them and their families,” said Janey, who earned their support in her past bid for city council.

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