Wards are geographic areas used by governments for local elections. These are then further divided into precincts, in which the polling locations for voting are held. In Massachusetts, only cities comprise both wards and precincts; municipalities designated as towns contain one or more precincts and no wards.
MassGIS obtained the data in September 2012 and edited the data in the fall of 2018 to update a few areas in Boston based on data from the city revised in 2016. The layer includes population values from the 2010 U.S. Census.
The layer is named WARDSPRECINCTS_POLY
Staff at the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth developed this layer with its contractor, DAPA Research, Inc. (Boston, MA) using Maptitude for Redistricting software. The City of Boston revised its boundaries in 2016. MassGIS projected the data and performed QA.
The Wards and Precincts layer's polygon attribute table contains the following fields:
|WP_NAME||Ward-precinct name, with city/town name|
|WARD||Ward name (cities only)|
|DISTRICT||Name of district (combination of Ward and Precinct separated by a hypen for cities; same as Precinct for towns)|
|TOWN||Name of city or town|
|TOWN_ID||MassGIS city/town ID (1-351)|
|AREA_SQMI||Area in square miles|
|AREA_ACRES||Area in acres|
|YEAR||Year that the boundary data was released by the U.S. Census Bureau (2012) or revised by the City of Boston (2016)|
MassGIS will distribute a new version of this layer once processing is complete after the 2020 U.S. Census.