Many of you may remember the ridiculously long voting lines, where residents waited for hours to cast their vote for the 2012 Presidential Election. Taking those lines and wait times into consideration, State Election procedures have been altered for 2016 with the Boston Election Department approving an early voting plan!
The early voting period takes place from October 24 through November 4. If you miss the early voting period, you can still vote on Election Day, November 8th.
“Vote Early Boston” is the new outreach effort to get Bostonians to the polls early. For the first time, Boston will allow voters to cast their ballots prior to the General Election on November 8, 2016. Currently, 34 states and the District of Columbia allow early voting, while it creates opportunities to make the voting process more convenient for citizens, some argue that folks are more likely to make ill-informed decisions. Nonetheless, the extensive plan hopes to increase voter turnout while improving the overall voter experience.
“Boston is proud to support early voting, and we have worked hard on a comprehensive plan that will allow many of our residents to vote at a time convenient for their work and family schedule,” said Mayor Walsh. “Whenever we are able to expand access to the ballot, we make our democracy stronger.”
Unlike Absentee voting, no excuse or reason is needed to vote early. Voters may also request an early voting ballot by mail, and are able to return them by mail or in person at City Hall.
Boston’s main early voting site will be City Hall, with voting daily during normal business hours (9 a.m to 5 p.m.) on the following dates, with extended hours on five evenings (full schedule below):
October 24, 2016 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
October 25, 2016 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 26, 2016 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
October 27, 2016 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
October 28, 2016 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
October 31, 2016 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
November 1, 2016 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November 2, 2016 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
November 3, 2016 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
November 4, 2016 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Boston City Hall is the closest early voting site for North End / Waterfront and most Downtown Boston residents. There are also district/neighborhood sites each day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Those locations will be open from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. in the evenings. For District 1, the following locations will be open on the following two dates and times:
Monday October 24, 2016
2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Orient Heights Yacht Club, 61 Bayswater Street, East Boston, 02128
Monday October 31, 2016
2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Harvard/Kent, 50 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, 02129
On Saturday October 29, there will be nine early voting locations open simultaneously in each city council district open from 12 p.m. until 6 p.m. Find those locations here.
All voted ballots will be secured in a vault at City Hall to be counted on Election Day, November 8, 2016. All ballots styles will be available at every early voting locations, and are accessible to voters with disabilities, including AutoMark machines to help voters who need that form of assistance marking their ballots.
For more information on early voting, go to the website “Vote Early Boston“.