Council Votes 12-0 to Request a Waiver of Any Mayoral Special Election

The City Council voted 12-0, with one abstention, on Feb. 3 to pass District 5 Councilor Ricardo Arroyo’s Home Rule Petition asking for a potential Special Mayoral Election in June to be waived. 

Mayor Martin Walsh signed the Home Rule Petition and sent it on to the State Legislature on Friday afternoon, Feb. 5.

The Home Rule Petition, as passed by the Council, requests that the City of Boston eliminate the requirement for Special Elections in Summer 2021. The Home Rule Petition, as passed, will have the elected mayor take office as soon as Fall 2021 municipal general election results are certified. The Council President would serve as Acting Mayor until certification of the election results instead of the remainder of Mayor Walsh’s term.

“This wouldn’t have happened without all of the advocates and stakeholders who demanded we put health and equity first,” said Councilor Arroyo. “I’m eager to partner with our legislature in implementing this Home Rule Petition.”

The matter will need to be passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor for it to take effect. 

The City Charter calls for a Special Election were Mayor Walsh to leave before March 6. That election would likely take place in June, but there is also a Preliminary Election scheduled for September, and a General Election scheduled in November – meaning many trips to the polls in a short period of time.

The State House usually acts in the affirmative if a Home Rule is passed with certainty at the local level. Gov. Charlie Baker has said he rarely doesn’t sign a Home Rule petition that makes it to his desk.

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