2023 Election Day Primer: The what, when how and where (as in where to catch the bus)

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Hello Manchester! It’s Election Day, and here are a few things to keep in mind as you head out to the polls.

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City Hall. File Photo/Andrew Sylvia

1. What’s being voted on today?

On today’s ballot, Manchester voters are making their choices for mayor, aldermen, Board of School Committee (BOSC) members, ward moderators, ward selectmen and ward clerks.

The mayor is the chief executive officer of the city and runs day-to-day operations of the city’s various departments. This year’s candidates are Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh and Jay Ruais.

Aldermen serve with the mayor on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA), the city’s governing body. Each of the city’s 12 wards receives one alderman on the BMA and there are also two “At-Large” aldermen voted upon by voters in all 12 wards to represent the entire city.

This year, aldermanic seats in Ward 2 (Dan Goonan) and Ward 8 (Ed Sapienza) have no competitors on the ballot.

The mayor also is the chair of the Board of School Committee, the governing body of the Manchester School District, and like the BMA, it has 12 members that represent a single ward and two At-Large members that represent the entire city.

This year, Ward 3 (Karen Soule), Ward 4 (Leslie Want) and Ward 9 (Bob Baines) school board candidates are all running unopposed.

Manchester Ink Link has insights from most of the candidates on our Voter Guide, which can be found at vote.manchesterinklink.com

Clerks, selectmen, and moderators are also elected to oversee elections in each ward, although moderators and selectmen have fewer powers than their counterparts in towns where moderators also oversee town meetings and selectmen are often the town’s administrative body in addition to confirming town meeting results.

2. Where to vote

The city clerk’s office has a tool that let you know your ward and polling place, you can access it here.

3. When to vote

Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

4. How to vote (if you’re not registered)

Again, the city clerk’s office has all the information if you need it.

You can register on election day at your designated polling place. To be eligible to register and vote in the city of Manchester, a person must be:

  • 18 years of age or older on election day;
  • A United States citizen; and
  • Domiciled in the ward where they intend to vote.

To register to vote, you will need to provide proof of your identity, age, citizenship, and domicile.  Proof can be either by documents that you have with you or by affidavit.

For any election-related questions, you can call them at (603) 624-6455. City Hall is closed on Tuesday except for election-related business.

After a successful trial run during the municipal primary on Sept. 19, electronic voter checklists will be used in all city wards for the municipal general election. The electronic checklists resulted in shorter lines for primary voters, with check-in times reduced to an average of 13 seconds per voter.

5. How do you get to the polls (if you don’t have a car)

While the Manchester Transit Authority’s buses do not go directly to any of the polls (excluding the Green Dash, which goes to the Carol Rines Center, the polling place for Ward 3), many of them go near the polling places and buses are free on Tuesday for anyone indicating that they are using the bus to head toward the polls. Click here to check out the bus schedule.


About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.