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City of Cambridge

Election Commission

Photo of voting booths The Election Commission is responsible for managing and supervising elections and the annual census in the City; ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local election laws and the policies and guidelines established by the Board of Election Commissioners. The Election Commission also manages municipal campaign finance reporting and administers and enforces the City’s Ethics Ordinance.

Tips and FAQs

November 7, 2017 Municipal Election

The Cambridge Municipal Election for City Council and School Committee will be held on November 7, 2017. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

2017 Municipal Election Voter Guide

Deadline to register: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

Deadline to request an absentee ballot: Monday, November 6, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Extended hours for Absentee voting: Friday, November 3 from 8:30 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, November 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Election Calendar

Information on PR elections in Cambridge

Voter Registration

Absentee Voting

City Council:
List of Candidates (updated 9/25/2017)
Specimen Ballot
Campaign Finance

School Committee:
List of Candidates
Specimen Ballot
Campaign Finance

Election Commission/Board of Election Commissioner Information

Election Commissioners

The Board of Election Commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, are appointed to staggered four-year terms by the City Manager from a list of candidates submitted by the City Committees of each party. The Board's responsibilities include certifying nomination papers & petitions, registering voters, administering election recounts and preserving the integrity of the database for the street and voting lists by personally verifying the existence or nonexistence of questionable addresses within the City. In addition, prior to each election, approximately 260 additional election personnel are recruited, trained and supervised by the Board to staff each of the polling locations within the City. They work with the office staff to ensure that elections are managed in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Commission Members:

  • Ethridge A. King (Chair)
  • Polyxane S. Cobb
  • Larry W. Ward
  • Charles Marquardt

Election Commission Staff:

Daily operations of the Commission are conducted by full-time and part-time staff persons. During peak times they receive assistance with voter registration, census processing and signature certification from temporary employees. Over 60,000 voter records are actively maintained both in the computer database and in a cross-referenced card system, with several thousand changes of party, name, and address annually. Confirmation of each change to a voter's record is sent to the respective voter in accordance with statutory requirements.

Functions of the Board of Election Commissioners

The Board of Election Commissioners was established by the Acts of 1921, Chapter 239, to conduct voter registration, supervise all elections, assume responsibility for the annual City census, and certify voter signatures on nomination papers, petitions, and ballot questions. Every ten years, after the conclusion of the Federal Census, the Board also re-precincts based on population changes. The role of the Commission was expanded in 1987 to include administration of Chapter 55 of the Massachusetts General Laws governing campaign and political finance reporting. In 1991 the Commission was assigned the administration and enforcement Chapters 2.117 and 2.118 of the Cambridge Municipal Code, known as the "Ethics Ordinance." The Board establishes policy for the Commission, giving instruction and guidance to the office staff who implement those policies and administer day-to-day operations of the office.

Election Commissioners

The Board of Election Commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, are appointed to staggered four-year terms by the City Manager from a list of candidates submitted by the City Committees of each party. The Board's responsibilities include certifying nomination papers & petitions, registering voters, administering election recounts and preserving the integrity of the database for the street and voting lists by personally verifying the existence or nonexistence of questionable addresses addresses within the City. In addition, prior to each election, approximately 260 additional election personnel are recruited, trained and supervised by the Board to staff each of the polling locations within the City. They work with the office staff to ensure that elections are managed in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Commission Members:

Ethridge A. King (Chair)

Polyxane S. Cobb

Larry W. Ward

Charles Marquardt

Election Commission Staff:

Daily operations of the Commission are conducted by full-time and part-time staff persons. During peak times they receive assistance with voter registration, census processing and signature certification from temporary employees. Over 60,000 voter records are actively maintained both in the computer database and in a cross-referenced card system, with several thousand changes of party, name, and address annually. Confirmation of each change to a voter's record is sent to the respective voter in accordance with statutory requirements.

Election Commissioners

The Board of Election Commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, are appointed to staggered four-year terms by the City Manager from a list of candidates submitted by the City Committees of each party. The Board's responsibilities include certifying nomination papers & petitions, registering voters, administering election recounts and preserving the integrity of the database for the street and voting lists by personally verifying the existence or nonexistence of questionable addresses addresses within the City. In addition, prior to each election, approximately 260 additional election personnel are recruited, trained and supervised by the Board to staff each of the polling locations within the City. They work with the office staff to ensure that elections are managed in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Commission Members:

Ethridge A. King (Chair)

Polyxane S. Cobb

Larry W. Ward

Charles Marquardt

Election Commission Staff:

Daily operations of the Commission are conducted by full-time and part-time staff persons. During peak times they receive assistance with voter registration, census processing and signature certification from temporary employees. Over 60,000 voter records are actively maintained both in the computer database and in a cross-referenced card system, with several thousand changes of party, name, and address annually. Confirmation of each change to a voter's record is sent to the respective voter in accordance with statutory requirements.

Election Commissioners

The Board of Election Commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, are appointed to staggered four-year terms by the City Manager from a list of candidates submitted by the City Committees of each party. The Board's responsibilities include certifying nomination papers & petitions, registering voters, administering election recounts and preserving the integrity of the database for the street and voting lists by personally verifying the existence or nonexistence of questionable addresses addresses within the City. In addition, prior to each election, approximately 260 additional election personnel are recruited, trained and supervised by the Board to staff each of the polling locations within the City. They work with the office staff to ensure that elections are managed in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Commission Members:

Ethridge A. King (Chair)

Polyxane S. Cobb

Larry W. Ward

Charles Marquardt

Election Commission Staff:

Daily operations of the Commission are conducted by full-time and part-time staff persons. During peak times they receive assistance with voter registration, census processing and signature certification from temporary employees. Over 60,000 voter records are actively maintained both in the computer database and in a cross-referenced card system, with several thousand changes of party, name, and address annually. Confirmation of each change to a voter's record is sent to the respective voter in accordance with statutory requirements.

Election Commissioners

The Board of Election Commissioners, two Democrats and two Republicans, are appointed to staggered four-year terms by the City Manager from a list of candidates submitted by the City Committees of each party. The Board's responsibilities include certifying nomination papers & petitions, registering voters, administering election recounts and preserving the integrity of the database for the street and voting lists by personally verifying the existence or nonexistence of questionable addresses addresses within the City. In addition, prior to each election, approximately 260 additional election personnel are recruited, trained and supervised by the Board to staff each of the polling locations within the City. They work with the office staff to ensure that elections are managed in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Commission Members:

Ethridge A. King (Chair)

Polyxane S. Cobb

Larry W. Ward

Charles Marquardt

Election Commission Staff:

Daily operations of the Commission are conducted by full-time and part-time staff persons. During peak times they receive assistance with voter registration, census processing and signature certification from temporary employees. Over 60,000 voter records are actively maintained both in the computer database and in a cross-referenced card system, with several thousand changes of party, name, and address annually. Confirmation of each change to a voter's record is sent to the respective voter in accordance with statutory requirements.

Election Worker Recruitment

Work at the Polls on Election Day!

The Election Commission accepts applications throughout the year from registered voters who are interested in working at the polls on Election Day. 

Election Workers must:
  • Be registered to vote in Massachusetts;
  • Be available to work Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.;
  • Be able to read and write English and speak clearly. Dedication, efficiency, patience and friendliness are assets.

Election Workers will receive:

  • Compensation at an hourly rate of $15.26- $16.95 depending the position assigned on Election Day;
  • Paid Training;
  • The opportunity to assist the citizens of Cambridge with a positive voting experience.

To apply
:

Fill out the Election Worker Application and return it to the Cambridge Election Commission:
  • In person or by mail: Cambridge Election Commission, 51 Inman Street, Cambridge, MA 02139
  • By email: elections@cambridgema.gov
  • By fax: 617-349-4366

Election Worker Position Descriptions

Warden:

The Warden is the Chief Election Officer at the polling place with responsibility for supervising and monitoring the work of the other election officers. The Warden maintains order, prevents interference with the voting process, insures that all required materials are available, assists voters, and oversees the accurate completion of all election forms.

Clerk:

The Clerk keeps a record of all facts relating to the election proceedings and notes any unusual happenings during the conduct of the election. The Clerk assumes the responsibilities of the Warden in the Warden’s absence.

Inspector:


Inspectors perform election duties under the direction of the Warden/Clerk, including but not limited to, checking voters’ names at the Check-In and Check-Out Tables and handing ballots to voters.

Early Voting

Early voting is not available for municipal elections, according to state law.  If you are unable to go to the polls on November 7, 2017, you can vote absentee

Early voting is a process by which a registered voter can vote before Election Day. 

  • Voters can vote early by mail or in-person and the ballot will be cast on Election Day. 
  • Early voting is different from absentee voting because you do not need an excuse or reason to vote early! 
  • Early voting is only available for biennial state elections, which means November elections in even numbered years.  This includes presidential elections.  
  • Early Voting is  not available for primaries, special elections, or municipal elections.   

Elected Officials for Cambridge

Cambridge City Councillors

Cambridge School Committee Members

Cambridge Statehouse Delegation

The city is divided into different legislative districts. Your designated State Representative and Senator depends upon the precinct in which you live. Some legislators representing Cambridge may also represent areas outside of the City.

State Senators:

State Representatives:

U.S. Congressional Members

U.S.Congressmen

The city is divided into two different congressional districts. Your designated Member of Congress depends upon the precinct in which you live.

U.S. Senators

US Senators representing the State of Massachusetts:  

Senate terms are for six years.

Chairs of the Cambridge Democratic and Republican City Committees

Democratic City Committee Chair
Brian Corr
17 Marie Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 254-8331
Email: brian@briancorr.com OR cambridgedems@gmail.com  

Republican City Committee Chair
Charles Marquardt
10 Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Email: cambridgegop1@gmail.com

Polling Place Activity Policy

The Cambridge Election Commission adopted the following policy to regulate activities at polling places on Election Day. Under this policy, any group wishing to conduct an activity must first obtain the permission of the building owner or authorized representative in writing. If such request is approved, it must then be forwarded to the Election Commission for review no later than (5) business days prior to the election.

Polling Place Activity Policy


  1. The Election Commission uses a building as a polling place location after being granted permission to do so by a building owner or authorized representative.
  2. The attached Polling Place Confirmation Letter is sent by the Election Commission to a building owner or authorized representative prior to each election. A copy of this policy shall be included with the letter.
  3. If the Election Commission receives a request by a group or individual(s) who wish to conduct an activity in a polling place building on election day they shall be provided with a copy of this policy and informed of the following:
    • The Election Commission is not authorized to, and does not grant, such permission for activities in a polling place building. Any such permission must be obtained in writing from the building owner or authorized representative and submitted to the Election Commission no later than five (5) business days prior to the election. Failure to do so may lead to exclusion of the activity from the polling place.
    • The activities of a group or individual(s) who obtains such written permission from the building owner or authorized representative shall be subject to regulation by the Cambridge Election Commission pursuant to election laws that include M.G.L.Ch.54, s.65 which regulates that certain types of activities are not allowed within 150 feet of polling place on Election Day.
    • A group or individual(s) who obtains such written permission from the building owner or authorized representative shall not obstruct access to polling places nor hinder voters from voting.
    • The warden or clerk at the polling place is authorized pursuant to M.G.L.Ch.54, s.71 to maintain peace, order and decorum at the polls, including removing or relocating any activity or individual(s) that obstructs or hinders voters from voting.
    • The only activities allowed in the polling place room where voting occurs are those related to voting.

Attachments: Confirmation letter [not included]
M.G.L.Ch.54, s.65 [not included]
M.G.L.Ch.54, s.71 [not included]

Election Related Public Records

Information regarding election results, election procedures, census and voter registration, campaign and political finance reports, ethics filings, and board minutes are available to the public.

The fees for public documents are as follows:

Street Listing

Elected officials, candidates for public office, and political organizations receive one courtesy copy.

  • Book (Regular or Spiral Bind) - $55.00
  • Resident file on CD - $20

Voting List

Elected officials, candidates for public office, and Political Organizations receive one courtesy copy per election plus supplemental after deadline for registration.

  • Copying costs of the first fifty (50) pages are waived
  • Each additional page: $0.05 per page
  • Voter File on CD: $20.00

Other

  • Certified Letters of Residency: Cost waived
  • District Maps: $.25
  • Alphabetical Street Index: Cost waived
  • Voter History on CD: $10.00
  • Copies of all other materials: $0.05 per page

updated 2017


Last Updated: 11/3/2017 | Provide feedback on this page

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