Early Voting Gets Underway in Historic Boston Mayoral Race

Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George both stopped at early voting locations Saturday, making a push for increased voter turnout

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Early voting is getting underway in Boston's historic mayoral election.

Bostonians who are registered to vote can cast their ballots at any of a number of early voting locations across the city starting Saturday and running through next Friday, Oct. 29.

The race pits Boston city councilor Michelle Wu against fellow councilor Annissa Essaibi George.

Wu, 36, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan, grew up in Chicago and moved to Boston to attend Harvard University and Harvard Law School.

Essaibi George, 47, a lifelong Boston resident, describes herself as a first-generation Arab-Polish American. Throughout its long history, Boston has previously elected only white men as mayor.

Wu and Essaibi George are both Democrats, though the office is nonpartisan.

Both mayoral candidates stopped by early voting locations Saturday as they try to drive up voter turnout after disappointing numbers during last month's preliminary election.

Wu was joined by Sen. Elizabeth Warren at an event in the Back Bay where the two greeted voters outside the Boston Public Library -- one of the city's early voting spots.

The pair talked about the need for change in the city and why Wu is the right choice to lead Boston.

“Michelle is putting forward ideas and a vision that engage people," Warren said. "People listen to Michelle and they realize she can change their lives.“

This all comes before a weekend full of door knocking.

“We go door-by-door, we get the energy up. People are ready and excited for change in this city. We just need to make sure that that energy connects to the polls," Wu said. "And so, for weeks now, our operation has been in every single neighborhood, every single community.”

Essaibi George also talked with voters Saturday, swinging by an early voting location in Roxbury and a bakery in Mattapan.

She agrees that low voter turnout last month was a problem and hopes campaign stops help people understand why this election matters.

“We’ve thought a lot about voter turnout. It was low for the September preliminary. We want the people of Boston to be engaged in this election," Essaibi George said. "This is an important election, and you’ve got two very clear choices on who’s going to lead your city and every Bostonian’s voice matters.”

Voters also are electing candidates for City Council.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2, when early and absentee votes will be counted after polling stations close, along with ballots cast that day.

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