What to know about Boston Election Day 2023

Photo courtesy of MGN

By Peyton Benbow

Election Day is held on Tuesday for 80 communities across Massachusetts. While there are no state or national elections, Boston’s nine districts will vote on City Council seats. Residents will select one candidate to represent their district, and there are eight at-large candidates, of which residents can vote for four. 

As an off-year for elections, the election is expected to have a lower turnout than it had in 2021, which included a mayoral election in the City of Boston. Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin held a press conference on Monday to urge mail-in ballot voters to return their ballots in person or at a drop-box, as mail-in ballots received after polling locations close will not be counted. 

Galvin noted that less than half of registered voters are likely to vote. “The way our government is structured in Massachusetts, local government has a great deal of authority in a number of areas: education, taxes, development, housing, planning, zoning,” he stated. “These decisions are really reflected by decisions made by voters in the municipal elections”. In 2021, Boston.com reported that only 28.9% of registered Boston residents voted.

This election will replace four current members of Boston’s City Council. Both Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty and District 3 Councilor Frank Baker did not seek re-election for 2024. In the September preliminary Council elections, District 5 Councilor Ricardo Arroyo and District 6 Councilor Kendra Lara lost their seats. Arroyo and Lara were the first incumbent councilors to lose a seat in four decades, due to individual scandals. 

Polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Boston residents can find their district and candidate information online on the City of Boston’s website.