The 2009 municipal elections will be held this Tuesday, November 3rd (tomorrow!). Voters will have the opportunity to decide who will serve the next term on the Cambridge City Council, the Somerville Board of Aldermen, and the School Committees of both Cambridge and Somerville.
Cambridge will have heavy competition with 20 candidates on the ballot (for 9 City Council seats), along with one incumbent write-in candidate. This represents a large increase from the previous municipal election in 2007, when 15 people ran. Hopefully the increase in candidates will be matched by an increase in voter turnout. There are 9 candidates for 6 School Committee seats.
In Somerville there are fewer challengers this cycle. The Board of Aldermen (11 seats) will have two challengers: one for an At-large seat and one for Alderman of Ward 6. The School Committee has two challengers for the 7 seats: one in Ward 4 and one in Ward 5.
The most important thing to do is to get out there and exercise your right to participate in our city government. Here are a few frequently asked questions, but please let me know if you have any further questions.
Where do I vote?
There are dozens of polling locations in Cambridge and Somerville, and yours should be very close to your home address. To help you find your polling location, the state elections division has created an online resource:
Enter your address in the form, being careful to only enter what each section asks for. If you run into trouble but you need to find out where to vote, please contact me at (617) 722-2380 or call the elections division directly at (617) 727-2828.
What will my ballot look like?
There will be 20 candidates for the Cambridge City Council (plus the write-in incumbent) and 9 for the Cambridge School Committee on the Cambridge ballot. Using proportional representation, all candidates are ranked by preference, with #1 being your top preference. You are allowed as many choices as there are candidates for Council and School Committee. DO NOT put the same number down for more than one candidate, it will not count for either.
In Somerville there will be 5 candidates for Alderman-at-large along with candidates for each of the 7 wards. They do not use proportional representation system of voting. You are allowed one vote in each ward and 4 votes for the 4 Aldermen-at-large seats.
Where can I get more information on the candidates?
For last minute information on the Cambridge candidates, please visit Robert Winters’ Civic Journal candidate page.
Videos from Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT) are available for each of the contested races this year here.