In less than two weeks, March 4, seven districts will compete in primaries across the city to decide the makeup of the 90-member Democratic Town Committee, the so-called party influencers. What will the turnout be? Death Valley. So a premium is placed on scouring absentee ballot voters. The Town Clerk’s office is in overdrive mailing them to serial absentee voters, and more.
The Town Clerk’s Office has mailed out more than 400 absentee ballots so far. It’s reached the point that the office has had to order more ballots. Roughly 30,000 registered Democrats across seven town committee districts are eligible to vote March 4. Most political operatives believe the citywide turnout will be about five percent. If that turnout number holds, roughly 1500 Democrats will vote. That means several districts will likely see more absentee voters than electors actually showing at the polls.
It’s March 4, the weather sucks, why bother going out? That’s part of the rationale political operatives are leveraging to inflate their absentee ballot count. In this kind of scenario it’s likely political operatives seasoned in the craft–some say manipulation–of absentee ballot voting will do well.
Town committee members are the party regulars who conduct party business, endorse candidates for public office and elect a chairman. Following the March 4 vote, Mario Testa is the favorite for another two-year term as chairman. That depends, of course, on how the results shake out. He’ll need 46 votes for another term, the same number Mayor Bill Finch will need next year for the endorsement in his reelection.
More than 120 candidates will be on the ballot across the city. Electors can vote for any nine candidates from both lines. Most districts have 18 candidates between two lines.
These races are also very costly for the budgets of the Registrar’s Office and Town Clerk’s Office. Lots of printing, postage and paid election day workers required.