On Nov. 7, eligible Bostonians can cast their ballots to elect Boston’s next district councilors and at large city councilors.
Eligible voters can vote by mail or go to the polls on election. Voters must drop off vote-by-mail ballots by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Here is everything you need to know about voting in this year’s municipal elections in Boston.
Nov. 7: General Election Day. Voters have from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to cast their votes for district and at-large city councilors. Vote-by-mail ballots may be dropped off into dedicated drop boxes by 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Where do I vote?
Bostonians can find their polling location by inputting their address on the secretary of state’s website.
How do I vote by mail?
For a ballot to be counted, it must reach the Boston Election office by the close of polls on Election Day — 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. Mailed ballots may be tracked through the state’s website.
Ballots may also be placed in designated drop boxes by 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. They may not be dropped off at polling locations on Election Day. The list of drop box locations can be found on the city’s website.
Ballots can also be dropped off at any early voting location during the early voting period.
How do I find my district?
After a lengthy and contentious once-in-a-decade redistricting process, including a legal battle, the City Council in May approved a new council district map with changes to some district boundaries. Most district boundaries remain the same, but there are significant shifts in Dorchester, Mattapan, and the South End to balance the population based on the decennial census, affecting Districts 3 and 4.
This map indicates which areas belong to which City Council districts.
Who’s on the ballot?
Gabriela “Gigi” Coletta is running unopposed as an incumbent.
Coletta won a special election for the Boston City Council in May 2022, taking over the seat from her former boss, Lydia Edwards, for whom she was chief of staff.
When she was elected in 2022, Coletta told the Globe she would focus on four main issues: affordable housing opportunities; making sure Boston Public Schools students have access to high-quality educations; coastal resiliency and environmental justice; and constituent services.
Ed Flynn is running unopposed as an incumbent.
Flynn has been a constituent since 2018. He told Boston.com that his priorities will be enhancing housing stability, increasing traffic-calming infrastructure on the city’s high-traffic roads, and developing strategies on gun violence prevention.
Before taking his seat as a City Councilor, Flynn was a probation officer at Suffolk Superior Court.
John FitzGerald, and Joel Richards are running.
Richards is a former BPS elementary school teacher who moved to Dorchester in 2010, and FitzGerald, a Boston Planning & Development Agency deputy director, is from Mission Hill.
The two offer a choice between a veteran of city government and a political outsider ahead of the election.
FitzGerald stresses his 17 years of experience in Boston City Hall. He told the Globe the knowledge and relationships he has built there would allow him to be more effective in delivering on the district’s priorities. Richards, by contrast, presents his outsider status and political differences as a boon.
Brian Worrell is running unopposed as an incumbent.
Worrell has been a constituent since 2022. He told Boston.com that when he was elected, he launched the ‘Black & Brown Economic Empowerment Agenda,’ a multi-faceted approach to give Bostonians of color access to more opportunities and address long-standing economic and educational disparities in Boston. His said that his upcoming priorities are two pieces of that agenda — including housing access and affordability and creating opportunities for our BPS students.
Before he was a City Councilor, Worrell became a a small business owner who helped dozens of first-time homebuyers realize the goal of homeownership, according to the city’s website.
Enrique José Pepén and Jose Ruiz are running.
Ruiz is a retired Boston police officer who told the Globe he admires Republicans Charlie Baker and Ronald Reagan and enjoys the support of former Mayor Martin J. Walsh. In addition to being a police officer for 29 years, Ruiz has experience organizing, administering, and coaching local youth sports.
Pepén is a self-described progressive who stepped down from City Hall as the executive director of the city’s Neighborhood Services to run for office and has the endorsement of his former boss, Mayor Michelle Wu. Pepén previously worked under former councilor Tito Jackson and former congressman Joe Kennedy III, among others.
William King and Benjamin Weber are running.
Weber is a progressive lawyer from Jamaica Plain. He promotes his track record of legal advocacy, both as a private-practice labor attorney and working in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office under Martha Coakley, where he prosecuted employers for wage law violations.
King is seen as more moderate. King touts his life experiences growing up on the Dorchester-Mattapan line. He told the Globe he tells voters about someone robbing him at gunpoint when he was young, how he attended BPS, and about his older sister dying after a battle with addiction when he was 15. This is his third run for council after unsuccessful at-large bids in 2017 and 2019.
Tania Fernandes Anderson is running as an incumbent and Althea Garrison is also running.
Fernandes Anderson was elected to represent District 7 in 2021, when she became the first Muslim-American and first African immigrant elected to City Council. Before her election, Fernandes Anderson worked in social services, opened a clothing store, and served as executive director of Bowdoin Geneva Main Streets.
Garrison lives in Dorchester and served on City Council in 2018. Garrison served as a Massachusetts state representative in 1992 and is thought to be the first transgender person elected to a state legislature after she confirmed that she is trans in an interview with The 19th News in October. She also worked for the Massachusetts State Comptroller’s Office for 34 years.
Sharon Durkan is running as an incumbent and Montez Haywood is also running.
Durkan, a political organizer and fundraiser who has worked for Wu and Senator Edward J. Markey, is defending her seat against Haywood, a long-time prosecutor in the district attorney’s office. The two competed in July to fill the vacancy left by Kenzie Bok, whom Wu tapped to head up the Boston Housing Authority.
Haywood told the Globe he is focused on grassroots campaigning in the hopes of getting people to the polls.
Durkan told the Globe her priority after getting elected was to approach the job with a sense of urgency to address big and small issues that matter to voters, and look for ways to deliver for people immediately.
Liz Breadon is running as an incumbent and Jacob deBlecourt is also running.
Breadon was elected Councilor in 2019 and is the first openly gay female councilor to be elected in the city’s history. She told the Globe her main concerns are housing, transit, climate change, the urban heat island effect in the district, and recent rains that have at times flooded basements and the Green Line.
DeBlecourt formerly worked as the communications and policy director for at-large Councilor Julia Mejia. They told they Globe they believe in abolishing the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, limiting annual rent increases for renters in Allston-Brighton, and tackling the city’s rat problem.
Councilor at large
Voters will decide who secures the four city councilor at large seats. Ruthzee Louijeune, Julia Mejia, and Erin Murphy are all running as incumbent candidates (Michael Flaherty will not seek reelection). Also running are Clifton Braithwaite, Bridget Nee-Walsh, Shawn Nelson, Henry Santana, and Catherine Vitale.
Some political observers predict the incumbents will win reelection, leaving the real battle for the fourth spot between Nee-Walsh, who ran unsuccessfully two years ago, and Santana, a first-time candidate who has Wu’s support.
Nee-Walsh touts her organized labor experience. She was the first woman at her union, Local 7, elected to the organization’s executive board. She favors hiring hundreds more police officers in Boston and is proposing the construction of five vocational schools in Boston by 2030.
Santana most recently worked for Wu as her director of civic organizing and stepped down to run for office. He told the Globe he takes “pride in being a public servant, being able to fix the smallest of issues,” from ensuring that students have access to Wi-Fi for remote learning to helping provide Thanksgiving dinners to families in need. He told the Globe that he prioritizes affordable housing and implementing more afterschool and summer programming for children.