In October of last year the City of Boston conducted a reprecincting initiative to restructure polling locations in neighborhoods across the city aimed at increasing voter participation and equity as well as reducing wait times in some wards.
On Tuesday Mayor Michelle Wu announced new proposed polling locations for the Back Bay, Fenway, South End, and Chinatown as well as new polling locations in other neighborhoods based off of the precinct realignment completed last year.
Wu said the new proposed precinct in Back Bay, Fenway, South End, and Chinatown was redrawn in October to increase voting accessibility by distributing voters equitably across the precinct.
New voting locations will be added throughout the City as a result of new precincts being created.
The new proposed polling location in Back Bay is at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston St in Ward 5.
In Fenway, the new proposed polling locations are the Fenway Center, 77 St. Stephen St. in Ward 3 and the Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave in Ward 4.
In the South End the new proposed polling location is at Cyclorama, 539 Tremont St in Ward 4 and 5.
Finally, in Chinatown, the new proposed location will be at the Boston Chinese Evangelical Church, 120 Shawmut Ave in Ward 3.
The City previously created 20 new voting precincts for municipal elections last fall–increasing the number of voting precincts from 255 to 275.
“This new structure is a big deal for voter access and I look forward to working with the State and our Elections department to ensure that every registered voter knows where to vote,” said Wu.
Before the process completed in October of last year, Boston last redrew its precincts in 1924, when a commission appointed by the state legislature created the wards and precinct structure. Because of this, some of the City’s precincts had disproportionately higher numbers of voters, which posed challenges for administering elections.
Following the 2020 U.S. Census, the City’s Election Department worked with community groups and the state legislature on the adopted precinct changes. These changes focus on equity in the voting populations of each precinct to reduce wait times and increase voter access.
“Voting is an essential part of democracy,” said Elections Commissioner Eneida Tavares. “The equalization of the city’s voting precincts is fundamental to the proper conduct of elections, and ensures that every voter has easier access to the ballot box on Election Day.”
The City of Boston is advising voters that they may experience a change in their precinct and polling location. The Elections Department will be conducting outreach in the coming months to ensure that residents are aware of any change to their polling location ahead of the elections.
The City of Boston held four virtual community engagement sessions regarding the new precinct lines and how the realigned voting precincts will impact voting in the 2022 elections. The sessions were held on Tuesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 30.
For more information about the new precinct structure, please visit www.boston.gov/elections.