Voting in Boston is about to become more convenient. For the first time, registered voters who reside in Boston will be able to take part in early voting, ahead of the Nov. 8 election. This exciting initiative, made possible by the 2014 Elections Reforms Law, will offer voters more options in choosing when and where to vote.
For the two weeks between Oct. 24 and Nov. 4, polling locations will be open across the city, creating more opportunities for voters to let their voices be heard. We’ve selected locations based on community feedback and smart planning. Early voters will also be able to request their ballots by mail, which they can then return to City Hall by mail or in person.
One innovation of the new program is that early voters can cast their ballots at any polling location in the city, regardless of what neighborhood they live in. We hope that this additional flexibility will allow more people to take part in the most critical part of our democracy.
Our lives are busier and more complicated than they used to be, so it takes work to ensure that voting is accessible to everyone. We allocated $670,000 to implement early voting, which includes payment for a citywide marketing campaign and long-term investments in such items as electronic poll books, which are used to process voters at the polling locations and can be useful in future elections.
After this year’s election, Elections Department Commissioner Dion Irish and his team will evaluate what worked and what could be improved upon for future elections. Our goal is for the city of Boston to serve as an example for communities across the Commonwealth and beyond. If you are a Boston voter, I hope you will take part.
Making a plan to vote is important. As we near this early voting period, I encourage all voters to find a location that works for you. There are important decisions to be made in the voting booth and it requires full participation from every voter.
I’m proud that Boston has taken a thoughtful approach to early voting. As citizens of a country founded on the idea that the government is formed by the people, we are afforded the opportunity to choose who represents us. It’s a right we cannot take for granted. Creating the conditions that allow more people to participate in the process will make for a stronger city, state, and nation.
Whether you plan to vote during the early voting period, or on Election Day, Nov. 8, let your voice be heard. Every vote counts.
A full early voting schedule can be found at boston.gov/early-voting.