November 19, 2017

Sina-cism: Voter turnout more than a numbers game

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Flickr / WyoFile

Getting voters' attention is about more than turnout numbers, Sinacola says.

The low turnout for Worcester’s Nov. 7 municipal election — only 15.24 percent of the city’s 106,939 eligible voters cast a ballot — has restarted the hand-wringing over electoral apathy, and rekindled the debate over how to broaden participation in democracy.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

It’s obviously not a very popular debate. Most Worcester residents couldn’t care less about turnout, since 84.76 percent of voters couldn’t find their way to a polling place at any time during the 13 hours such places were open on Election Day. The rest of the voting-age population isn’t even registered.

The good news for those who believe that voter turnout must be increased by any means possible is that three researchers from Worcester State University this fall produced “A Study of ‘Eligible’ Voters in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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