You’ve probably seen Boston Mayor Marty Walsh or challenger City Councilor Tito Jackson stumping on city streets lately, and that’s because Boston’s preliminary municipal election is Sept. 26.
Preliminary elections have been losing voters’ attention, experts say. Secretary of State William F. Galvin's office expects 60,000 ballots to be cast on Tuesday. Out of Boston’s estimated 391,000 registered voters, that's about a 15 percent turnout rate.
If you’re planning on heading to the polls, here’s everything you need to know.
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What is the preliminary election?
The point of the citywide preliminary municipal election is to narrow down the number of candidates to the top two front-runners in each race. This year, there are four candidates running for mayor of Boston, and the preliminary election will narrow that race to two candidates before residents vote in the municipal election on Nov. 7.
This year, there is no preliminary municipal election for the four at-large city councilor seats because there must be at least nine candidates running in order to have a preliminary election (this year, eight are running – four incumbents and four challengers). There is also no preliminary election for district councilor seats in districts 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8.
Four City Council districts, 1, 2, 7 and 9, will hold preliminaries on Sept. 26
When and where can I vote?
Preliminary election voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26. To make sure that you are eligible to vote in this election, check your status online here. The preliminary election also includes City Council candidates, so if you need to find out which district you live in, check the district map here.
If you're not registered to vote in time for the preliminary election, you have until Oct. 18 to register for the Nov. 7 election. Register to vote at RegisterToVoteMA.com.
Who is running?
For Mayor of Boston:
Marty Walsh is the incumbent, seeking re-election for a second four-year term.
Tito Jackson, of Roxbury, is currently District 7’s city councilor. Jackson served in former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration.
Joe Wiley, of East Boston, is a health insurance worker who is a first-time political candidate
Robert Cappucci, of East Boston, is a retired Boston Police officer and former member of the Boston School Committee
For City Council:
District 1: Charlestown, East Boston and North End
Lydia Marie Edwards
Margaret M Farmer
District 2: Downtown Boston, South Boston and South End
Corey G Dinopoulos
Edward M Flynn
Joseph F Kebartas
Michael S Kelley
Erica J Tritta
Kora Roberts Katz Vakil
District 7: Roxbury
Angelina Magdalena Camacho
Joao Gomes Depina
Rufus J. Faulk
Carlos Tony Henriquez
Charles Clemons Muhammad
District 9: Allston, Brighton
Brandon David Bowser
Mark S. Ciommo
Alexander Bernhard Golonka