Boston has been exempt from redrawing its ward lines since 1920. As a result, certain precincts today have an extremely high population density while others contain incredibly few residents. This leaves certain polling locations with extensive long lines for voters. We must modernize precincts and ward lines to accurately represent today's demographics of Boston to ensure voter equity.
Battle Long Lines
Downtown areas are the most affected by the current precincts. Neighborhoods such as Chinatown, South End, Seaport and the North End continually suffer from long waits at the polls, discouraging voters.
A solution to this crisis is to split precincts. Splitting precincts would be a short-term solution to ensuring voters are able to vote with a limited wait time. Although helpful, Boston's growing populations makes this a band-aid solution to a bigger issue of taking a look at the ward lines. Sub-Precincts have been passed by the City Council but has not made traction at the State House for full approval.
By the numbers
As of 2020, the average Boston precinct held 1,694 registered voters. 72 of the 255 precincts in Boston supersede the Boston average. The largest precincts hold over 7,000 registered voters.
Long Term Solutions
Most large cities redraw their wards periodically. Boston is in need of a redraw and with Census 2020 data it can achieve it. Other measures of accessing the ballot box would also be beneficial in solving this issue such as Vote-By-Mail.