City Clerk Michael Matarazzo said this week that his office has seen relatively low voter activity in advance of the city’s Election Day on Tuesday, November 3.
“It’s been slow,” said Matarazzo, when asked about absentee ballot requests and over the counter voting, two traditional indicators of voter interest in an election.
Matarazzo noted that with contested races for every seat on the City Council, higher voter interest would normally be expected, especially with some compelling individual races and ten candidates for the five at-large seats.
“At this point, I’d say we may get 5,000 voters on Election Day,” said Matarazzo. “Two years ago we only had 7,300 voters for the first City Council race in the new government and the first mayoral race for a four-year Mayor’s term.”
Without the draw of those larger races, Matarazzo is concerned that voters have shown little interest to this point.
Against that backdrop, there is still a chance that some of the candidates themselves will prevail upon their supporters to turnout on Election Day.
In addition to the 11 incumbent councilors running for re-election, this year’s races will also feature four former elected officials seeking a return to office in Jason Marcus, Catherin Tomasi Hicks, Wayne Matewsky and Michael McLaughlin. Additionally, there are a number of newcomers who seem to be working hard.
“I think it is all going to come down to who can identify their vote, their supporters, and get them to the polls,” said Matarazzo. “Some of the races ae too tough to call, especially when you talk about Councilors that have been serving for so long, in some cases running against former councilors or aldermen who also have a long record.”