A polling location could return to the Jack Satter House on Revere Beach Boulevard by the 2023 municipal elections. Monday night the City Council approved sending a home rule petition to the state legislature that would reestablish a voting sub-precinct at the Jack Satter House. The sub-precinct was eliminated for the 2022 elections as part of the redistricting and re-precincting process following the 2020 federal census.
Currently, there is a sub-precinct in Ward 2, precinct 3 because the precinct is split between State Representatives Jeff Turco and Jessica Giannino.
“When the redistricting was done before I came onboard, that had been two sub-precincts in Ward 5, but there was no necessity because all of Ward 5 is now represented by one state representative,” said Election Commissioner Paul Fahey. “I wasn’t here 10 years ago, but when that was set up in 2012, there was a need for three sub-precincts. Currently, there is only a legal requirement for one, which is 2-3a.”
The redistricting created a problem in Ward 5, precinct 1, where there was no legal requirement for a 5-1a sub-precinct at the Jack Satter House. “The reality … is that the Jack Satter House has been a very active polling location, with close to 300 people there registered to vote under the 5-1 configuration,” said Fahey.
The residents registered at the senior housing development are now required to travel to the Point of Pines Yacht Club to vote, Fahey said. “What we did in this [primary] election, and what we will do in November in addition to mail-in voting and early voting under the Votes Act, is special early voting sessions at the Jack Satter House,” said Fahey. “We had a fairly good turnout there over the one week that we had early voting for the primary, and under state law, we will have two weeks of early voting for the general election. We will have our regular early voting location in or near City Hall [and] we will also be back at the Jack Satter House.”
While there will be early voting at the Jack Satter House, Fahey said the election board and the Mayor’s Office have discussed the reestablishment of the sub-precinct there. “There is no requirement that there be a sub-precinct, but we want to serve those people and the people in that neighborhood,” said Fahey, adding that that is what is being proposed in the home rule petition.
At its regular meeting, the City Council approved sending the home rule petition to the state legislature for a vote.
Ward 2 Councillor Ira Novoselsky noted that he would like to see the city working toward a consolidation that eliminates the 2-3a sub-precinct, which has fewer than 200 registered voters, and combine it with Ward 2, precinct 2.
“It is by far the smallest precinct in the city,” Fahey said, noting that the city would continue to work with Novoselsky on the issue.
If the state legislation is approved by next spring, Fahey said, the sub-precinct at the Jack Satter House should be in place for the 2023 municipal elections.