ACLU, Boston Public Library launch voter education series on sheriffs, district attorneys

BOSTON - August 23, 2022 - The ACLU of Massachusetts and the Boston Public Library today launched a series of public education events to inform voters about the roles of sheriffs and district attorneys, the life-changing decisions these elected officials make, and how voters can move them to make communities safer and more just for all. The webinars–part of the ACLU’s “Know Your Sheriff” and “What a Difference a DA Makes” campaigns–will take place before the September 6 state primary election and are open to the public.

“Sheriffs and district attorneys make decisions every day that impact local communities,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “Information is power in the hands of voters. Through this partnership with the Boston Public Library and our public education campaigns, we want voters to know: Our key civil liberties are on the ballot this fall, and we must all make our voices heard at the ballot box.”

A poll commissioned by the ACLU shows a lack of knowledge among Massachusetts voters about the roles and responsibilities of sheriffs. Fewer than one-in-five voters (17%) can correctly name their local sheriff. Nearly half (41%) do not know that sheriffs are elected, while 90% do not know that a sheriff’s term is six years. The same poll shows that after learning more about sheriffs, 71% of voters say they are very likely to vote in the next election for local sheriff, a 26-point increase from the start of the survey (45%).

“We are thrilled to partner with the ACLU of Massachusetts around this important voter education event series,” said Erica Husting, Media & Journalism Specialist at the Boston Public Library. “The Boston Public Library has always been dedicated to providing essential resources to patrons across the city. These webinars share powerful information, and as we approach the State Primary Election on September 6, we're proud to be able to use our platform as a library to help our communities engage with their local government.”

The series includes the following events:

The Boston Public Library is dedicated to ensuring a fair and just voting process to Boston residents. There are ballot drop boxes at 17 BPL locations, and some branch libraries serve as early voting and polling stations during elections. For resources pertaining to voter education, patrons are encouraged to call or visit their closest branch library.

The ACLU of Massachusetts and the Boston Public Library do not endorse political candidates.

For more information about “Know Your Sheriff,” go to: