Times, places and other details for Tuesday’s election
By Barbara Taormina
City Clerk Tom Brennan offered City Councillors an update this week on plans to ensure that Tuesday’s election runs as smoothly as possible.
During the primary election held just after Labor Day, three of the city’s 16 precincts ran out of ballots around midday. A breakdown in communication between the precinct wardens and the City Clerk’s Office led to a delay in the delivery of fresh batches of ballots. Some residents waited in line for more than 30 minutes to vote, while others left polls without voting.
Retired City Clerk Karen Anderson agreed to step in and help with next Tuesday’s vote. And Brennan said he had taken several steps to avoid any interruptions in voting.
Brennan said precincts ran out of ballots partly because he relied on the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s prediction for a low voter turnout of around 10 percent. On the morning of the primary, the City Clerk’s Office delivered enough ballots to the polls to cover that estimated turnout without much room for error. Overall turnout for the city was 18 percent of registered voters, with that figure climbing as high as 25 percent in several precincts.
Brennan said each precinct will begin Tuesday’s election with enough ballots for 60 percent of the registered voters in that neighborhood. Also, to avoid any lapses in communication, Brennan will carry a phone specifically to stay in touch with the wardens of each precinct. And rather than waiting to hear from them, he plans to check in with each precinct several times during the day.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Anyone who is waiting in line before 8 p.m. will be able to vote even after the scheduled deadline.
Voters who learn they are not on the voter list at the precincts where they believe they are registered to vote have the right to cast provisional ballots. Those ballots are kept in a sealed envelope separate from other ballots until the City Clerk’s Office can determine a voter’s eligibility. Provisional voters who are found to be registered will have their ballots opened and counted. In cases where voters are found to be ineligible, ballots will be destroyed without being examined.
The following locations are the designating polling places for Tuesday’s election:
Ward 1, Precinct 1: Ferryway School, 150 Cross St., enter at Walnut Street
Ward 1, Precinct 2: Ferryway School, 150 Cross St., enter at Walnut Street
Ward 2, Precinct 1: Community Room, 89 Pearl St.
Ward 2, Precinct 2: Irish American Club, 177 West St.
Ward 3, Precinct 1: Beebe School, K-4 Gym, 401 Pleasant St.
Ward 3, Precinct 2: Beebe School, Music Room, 401 Pleasant St.
Ward 4, Precinct 1: Early Learning Center (Holmes School Gym), 257 Mountain Ave.
Ward 4, Precinct 2: Senior Center Auditorium, 7 Washington St.
Ward 5, Precinct 1: Salemwood School, 529 Salem St.
Ward 5, Precinct 2: Forestdale School, 74 Sylvan St.
Ward 6, Precinct 1: Mystic Valley Regional Charter School, Multipurpose Room, 4 Laurel St.
Ward 6, Precinct 2: Community Room, 630 Salem St.
Ward 7, Precinct 1: Ferryway School, 150 Cross St.
Ward 7, Precinct 2: Suffolk Manor Community Room, 312 Bryant St.
Ward 8, Precinct 1: Linden School, 29 Wescott St.
Ward 8, Precinct 2: Linden School, 29 Wescott St.