Worcester voters and the elections they decide are enigmatic. Lacking the intense media coverage of state and national races or the consultants and analysts that characterize larger contests, the municipal electoral process is shrouded in relative mystery. In Worcester, this lack of attention has been blamed, in part, for low and declining turnout in recent City Council and School Committee elections. Candidates-both challengers and incumbents-have lamented that a small percentage of the city’s population controls the fate of its leadership.
This report uses a variety of sources to conduct a deeper exploration of voter characteristics and electoral trends, drawing on voter information from the Election Commission, cross-referencing it with property information, population demographics, and other sources to present and analyze Worcester voter turnout in a new way-one that, hopefully, leads to ideas for boosting civic participation.