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Elections and Politics

Early Voting Is Underway For Preliminary Municipal Elections

Preliminary elections will be held on September 12, 2023, and the voter registration deadline is September 2.

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

Across Massachusetts, voters will pick finalists for several key mayoral and city council races in preliminary municipal elections on Tuesday, September 12.

You can register or update an existing voter registration with the Massachusetts Secretary of State's website.

These preliminary elections typically have very light turnout, so the people who do show up to vote can have an outsized influence in shaping city politics.

The preliminary elections will winnow down the field of contenders in city council and mayoral races. The top two candidates from each race will compete in the general election in November.

Some of the contests we're watching include:

  • A contested mayoral race in Springfield, where incumbent Mayor Domenic Sarno is facing four challengers: City Councilor Jesse Lederman, City Councilor Justin Hurst, state representative Orlando Ramos, and David Ciampi, a psychotherapist.
  • Worcester voters will pick finalists for city council districts one, two, four, and five. Of particular interest is the race in District 5, where the incumbent city councilor, safe streets and fare-free WRTA advocate Etel Haxhiaj, is facing two challengers, Jose Rivera and Edson Montero. Rivera made a splash earlier this year when he attempted to halt a road safety improvement on Mill Street, a four-lane highway with chronic speeding problems on the city's west side.
  • In Boston, voters in three districts will pick finalists for the City Council in the November election. This will be the first election under the city's newly re-drawn map of City Council districts, so if you're a Boston voter, it would be a good idea to double-check which district you're in.
    • 7 candidates are running for the open City Council seat in District 3 (Dorchester and part of the South End) following Councilor Frank Baker's decision not to run for re-election.
    • In District 5 (Hyde Park, Roslindale, and Mattapan Square), three people are running against incumbent Ricardo Arroyo.
    • In District 6 (Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury), two challengers are running against incumbent Kendra Lara.
    • Four at-large council seats are also at stake this year, but because there are only eight at-large candidates running, those won't be subject to the September preliminary election.

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