14% vote - election officials are sad and discouraged

Analysts try to explain Boston's lowest poll turnout in years - The Boston Globe

"This is a very disturbing and discouraging turnout," said Secretary of State William F. Galvin
"It's very, very sad," said Boston Election Commissioner Geraldine Cuddyer.

It is almost too obvious to write, and I and many others have already written it, but on the day after Boston's City Council election here it is one more time:

Maybe the Secretary of State and Boston Election Commissioner are only supposed to run the elections, not promote the elections. Maybe the Globe and Herald aren't trying to lead the discussion and establish public discourse about important civic issues.

If that is the case, then why are these people wringing their hands in despair when they seem to have the power, but have done so little, to do something about this low voter turnout that has them so depressed? Bloggers (Mike Pahre, myself, and others) and non-profits (MassVote) with our relatively modest reach are doing what we can, but how about some can-do spirit from the people who could really move the ball?


  1. It seems like the low turnout is the result of a few things:

    - So much focus on national issues, i.e. Iraq, especially in the media

    - The Globe and Herald did a terrible job before the election. If you read those papers, you would barely know there was an election.

    - General apathy and resignation by voters. People are more distrustful of politicians lately, with story after story of corruption, incompetence, and mismanagement. Why should they think this is going to change?

  2. It's also worth noting that it rained like hell all day. That no doubt kept more than a few people away.

  3. Anonymous10:18 PM

    The councilors have no power over zoning, development, schools or the bureaucracy.