Registering to Vote in New Bedford

Michael Silvia
by Michael Silvia

If you haven’t heard, New Bedford is having local elections in October and November.  Check out our election page for timelines, who is running and other information related to the 2011 New Bedford elections.

An important part of the election process is registering to vote.  New Bedford residents have until September 14th to register to vote in the preliminary elections that will be held on October 4th.  Here are the key dates for New Bedford voters to keep in mind:

  • 14 Sept: Last day to register to vote for Preliminary Elections
  • 01 Oct: Absentee Voting (9 AM – 12 PM)
  • 03 Oct: Last day to file an absentee ballot application for Preliminary Election (12 PM)
  • 04 Oct: Preliminary Election (7 AM – 8 PM) – top two move on to the Municipal Election
  • 19 Oct: Last day to register to vote for Municipal Elections (8 PM)
  • 05 Nov: Absentee Voting (9 AM – 12 PM)
  • 07: Nov: Last day to file for an absentee ballot application (12 PM)
  • 08 Nov: Municipal Election (7 AM – 8 PM)

In 2009, there were 56,423 registered voters in New Bedford, but our voter registration numbers for 2011 are down 6,518 to 49,905.  This decrease happened while New Bedford increased its population.  It is more important than ever to bring up these registration numbers so everyone has the opportunity to vote.

Registering to Vote

Register to vote New BedfordRegistering to vote is easy!  You can head over to the city hall and fill out a voter registration form, or you can request the form by calling (508) 979-1421 and it will be mailed to you.  Here is an example of the form: front and back.  It is recommended that you get an original form vice printing out one.  Once you receive the form, you can personally deliver it to the Election Commission Office in the New Bedford City Hall, Room 114 or mail it to the address on the back side of the form.  If you fill out the voter registration form and mail it in, you will receive a confirmation letter in the mail detailing the best place for you to vote.  If you do not receive a confirmation letter contact (508) 979-1421.

The qualifications for Registering to vote are simple: you must be a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of New Bedford and be 18 years old on or before election day.

On Thursday, September 8th from 5 – 7 p.m., New Bedford Guide will be hosting a registration drive with the New Bedford Election Commission and there will be an opportunity for people to meet the candidates for Mayor, City Council and other elected offices.  The event will be held at:

BCC eHealthCareers
800 Purchase Street (Room 126 and Lobby Area)
New Bedford, MA

You can follow the Facebook event here:

Take a few minutes out of your busy day between now and September 14th to ensure you have the opportunity to vote in October and November.  The future leaders of New Bedford will be decided soon and you should be part of the process.