Election apathy hinges on pride

Full and original article posted on CommonWealth Magazine (online edition)

Low turnouts predicted in Worcester, elsewhere

DOES ANYBODY CARE that elections for mayor, school committee, and city council in Worcester are next week? Alas, most people probably don’t, and it’s very unclear what can be done about this.

A small minority of Worcester’s population elects its officials. In recent years, statistics on voter turnout in local elections in Worcester have been uniformly unimpressive. Since 2001, never have more than 30 percent of registered voters in the city cast votes, and at times as few as 17 percent have. The leading vote getter among city council candidates in 2009 received around 12,000 votes, which is less than 9 percent of Worcester’s total voting-age population.

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