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Brisk Turnout In Preliminary Elections Beats Expectations

This article is more than 10 years old.
Turnout was low but much higher than expected. Here, a polling site at Emmanuel Episopal Church on Newbury Street. (Ross Dallas for WBUR)
Turnout was low but much higher than expected. Here, a polling site at Emmanuel Episopal Church on Newbury Street. (Ross Dallas for WBUR)

Nearly a quarter of the electorate turned out to vote in Boston's preliminary elections Tuesday, beating expectations.

A greater number of registered voters cast ballots than in the past two preliminary elections. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, 81,641 voters cast ballots — that's slightly more than 23 percent of the voting population.

Unofficial returns show incumbent Mayor Thomas Menino received 50.5 percent of the vote and City Council President Michael Flaherty received 24 percent. Both will face off in the general election Nov. 3.

Turnout was highest in Hyde Park and West Roxbury.

Still, by late afternoon, Geraldine Cuddyer of the Boston Election Commission said she expected an even bigger turnout.

"Certainly there's been a very active mayoral preliminary election," Cuddyer said, "so it's interesting the numbers are as low as they are."

Voting advocates said they were pleased with the higher turnout, noting that preliminary municipal elections typically have very low numbers.

Menino is Boston's longest serving mayor and is seeking an unprecedented fifth consecutive four-year term at City Hall.

This program aired on September 22, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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