For Immediate Release
November 01, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, the Board of Election Commissioners for the City of Boston released plans for tomorrow’s 2010 State Elections.
The City of Boston has well over the number of ballots to satisfy each of the 370,805 registered voters eligible to participate tomorrow. During the last state election in 2006, 157,120 ballots were cast out of a possible 278,126 registered voters. In 2008, during the presidential election, 236,525 ballots were cast out of a possible 380,881 registered voters.
Of the 1,700 election officials that will work tomorrow, over 400 are fluent in second languages. Boston has a total of 254 precincts and 157 polling locations which will be open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
Tomorrow, bilingual election officials will be available to assist voters in Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese dialects), Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, Cape Verdean Criolo and Russian as well as other languages. For the first time, in partnership with Suffolk University, over 40 trained elections officials will serve as “Accessibility Ambassadors” for seniors and people with disabilities. The ambassadors are trained on how to properly use the Auto Mark assistive marking device and to ensure that all voters have access to the polls.
For more information about tomorrow’s election, particularly on voting locations and for information regarding ballots, please visit www.cityofboston.gov/elections.
Tips for Voters
In anticipation of heavy voter turnout for the November 2 State Election, the Boston Election Department offers the following tips to make the voting experience flow more easily for both new, and longtime, voters. Nearly every question can be answered through visiting our website: www.cityofboston.gov/elections
- Polls in Boston open at 7AM and close at 8PM.
First thing in the morning, and after 4PM are the busiest times at polls across the City. If you can cast your vote mid-day, the process will be much faster.
- Know your voting location and voter status before you go to the polls
Voting in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Boston, is address-based. Both the Boston Election Department and the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s websites offer links to finding your polling location and your status. Boston’s website is www.cityofboston.gov/elections and the statewide website is www.wheredoivotema.com. Your vote will only count if it is cast at the precinct in which you are registered.
- In most cases, inactive voters can vote
If your voter status shows that you are inactive, visit the Boston Election Department website: there are three links that provide information for Inactive voters, depending on whether the voter still resides at his address of registration, has moved within the City, or has moved to another city or town in the Commonwealth. Click on the link that best describes your situation for instructions on how to vote in this election.
- Be familiar with the ballot and your ballot choices before you go to the polls
The ballot in Massachusetts is extremely long this year. The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website offers a very useful link: once you visit www.wheredoivote.com and click on ‘my election information’, a yellow highlighted field will appear. Clicking on the highlighted area, you will be able to view all races and questions which will appear on your ballot in an easy-to-read format. Boston alone has 39 different ballots due to overlapping Congressional, Legislative, and Governor’s Council districts. Bringing an index card or a brief note to the polls with your ballot choices will make the experience easier. Make sure to take your ‘cheat sheet” with you when you leave the voting area.
- Remember to vote the reverse side of your ballot
In order to fit all candidates and ballot questions on one card, the layout requires the use of both sides of the ballot:
Ballot Question One is in column three on the front of the ballot;
Ballot Question Two begins in column three on the front of the ballot, and continues onto the reverse side.
Ballot Question Three is on the reverse side of the ballot
- Remember to Bring Appropriate Identification
If you need to show identification at the polls, remember: your identification must have your current address on it. Out of State drivers’ licenses and passports may show who you are: they do not show where you live. Please bring a bill, paystub, lease agreement, or other official document that shows your name and address. If you have any questions about your voter status which you can’t resolve by viewing the website, please call the Election Department: 617-635-3767.
- Ask for Help
In the City of Boston, we have election officers who speak a variety of language and others who have been trained to assist voters with disabilities. If you are an eighteen year old voting for the first time, or a first-time Massachusetts voter, we want to help you understand the process. If you are not showing on the voting list at your polling location, make sure that the Warden calls City Hall to confirm your correct polling location. Remember that voting is address-based in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, so you must vote at the precinct where you are registered. The only time an election officer should refer you to another polling location is if they have confirmed you are registered elsewhere. When in doubt, you may be offered, or request, a provisional ballot!
Reporters are reminded that there are certain rules that must be followed in order to ensure a smooth voting process for voters as well as their privacy. The rules are:
- Interviews of voters are not allowed inside polling locations and must be done at least 150 feet away.
- Interviews with elections officials at the polling locations are not allowed. Interview requests of city officials will 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.
The following locations for b-roll shots are recommended:
- The Boston Public Library in Copley Square.
- Cathedral High School at 74 Union Park in the South End.
- Holy Name Parish Hall at 535 West Roxbury Parkway in West Roxbury.
- The Tobin Municipal Building at 1481 Tremont St. in Mission Hill.
- The Curley Middle School at 493 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain.
- Orchard Gardens Community Center at 2 Dearborn St. in Roxbury.
The City of Boston Election Department on the second floor of Boston City Hall will also be available for b-roll shots starting at 7:30 AM.
Results will be posted online at www.cityofboston.gov as results come in after polls close at 8:00 PM.