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  • Writer's pictureOffice of Rep. Vargas

Governor Signs Haverhill Home-Rule Petition to Change Elections from At-Large to Ward Hybrid System


Media Contact:  

Mallory Strain 978-228-1233 |

BOSTON – August 26th, 2022– Today Governor Baker signed Haverhill’s home rule petition to change how the city elects city councilors and school committee members, finalizing the new voting system into law. Haverhill residents voted in November to change the city’s system of representation.

Starting in 2023, city councilors and school committee members will be elected in a hybrid ward district and at-large system rather than at-large only. Under the new system, there will be 4 at-large city councilors and 7 ward councilors representing districts. The school committee will be made up of 3 at-large members and 7 district members, with the Mayor presiding as Chair. This will allow for greater representation of the city’s residents and the needs of individual neighborhoods. The change will bring Haverhill in line with similar sized cities in Massachusetts. This change was made possible by strong advocacy from residents, the city’s Latino Coalition and efforts from Greater Haverhill Indivisible.

The home rule petition was filed by Representative Andy Vargas.

“This is a historic day for Haverhill. In time, the new local election system will produce a municipal government that is more reflective of all of Haverhill and will strengthen our neighborhoods. It won’t happen overnight, and it will take some time for folks to get acclimated, but Haverhill will now be in compliance with civil rights law—something we should all be proud of.” said Representative Andy X. Vargas.

The home rule is now officially law, and the City can begin making the transition to the new election system.


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