A Voter’s Guide to Tuesday’s Preliminary Elections

Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston on Election Day, November 3, 2020.
Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston on Election Day, November 3, 2020.

Preliminary elections are being held next Tuesday in Boston, Somerville, Worcester, Salem, Revere, Quincy, Peabody, Newton, Medford, Malden, Lynn, Haverhill, Gloucester, Framingham, and Brockton. A few other cities and towns will hold preliminary elections a week later, on the 21st, and Northampton will hold theirs on the 28th. Look up when your city or town is voting here.

These contests will determine finalists for mayoral and City Council races in the final election on Tuesday, November 2.

Here’s a brief guide for voters with a summary of Streetsblog coverage to date:


In Boston, voters will choose finalists not only for the Mayoral race, but also for four at-large City Council seats, and in four district Council races.

For the Mayoral race, StreetsblogMASS invited each of the five major candidates to discuss transportation issues this summer:

Mayor Janey’s campaign did not respond to our request for an interview; Councilor Campbell’s campaign was responsive but we were unable to schedule a meeting before the preliminary election (however, we did cover the release of her transportation campaign platform earlier this year).

Our politics reporter, Claire Wallace, also wrote an overview of the mayoral candidates’ responses to the Vision Zero Coalition’s candidate questionnaire. Read the candidates’ detailed responses here.

In the City Council races, Boston voters will winnow down a field of 17 at-large council candidates to a field of 8, who will ultimately race in November for four seats. Read the at-large candidates’ responses to the Vision Zero Coalition questionnaire here.

The preliminary election will also select two finalists in City Council Districts 4, 6, 7, and 9.

Boston voters can look up their City Council district and voting locations here.

In Somerville, voters will pick two finalists in the mayoral race, plus finalists for district City Council seats in Wards 5 and 7.

Read Streetsblog’s summary of the mayoral race here, and read candidates’ detailed responses to the Vision Zero Coalition questionnaire here.

Somerville voters can look up their districts and polling locations here.

In Worcester, voters in District 1 and District 5 will chose finalists for their respective City Council seats.

The open race for District 5 includes two sustainable transportation advocates: Etel Haxhiaj, a leader in the Zero-Fare WRTA coalition, and Yenni Desroches, who has called for better bike infrastructure and safer streets in her campaign.

Find City of Worcester voting information here.



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