New Bedford Mayor Laments Low Voter Turnout for Primary Election
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell is lamenting the low voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary election, while hinting at a formal endorsement of gubernatorial candidate Maura Healey today.
In his weekly appearance on WBSM on Wednesday, Mitchell reported that voter turnout in the city on Tuesday was just 13.4 percent.
“So that’s better than it was four years ago for the same primary, although four years ago there wasn’t really a contested Republican primary, there really wasn’t much of a contested Democrat primary for governor,” he said. “I haven’t seen the statewide numbers yet, but I suspect that 13.4 percent isn’t very good.”
Statewide numbers were not immediately available as of this writing.
“We have been lagging behind the rest of the state,” Mitchell said “It’s unfortunate. We’ve got to get out to vote.”
“Candidates who run statewide pay less attention to places where voter turnout is low, and the reason for that is obvious, they go where the votes are – and if the votes are low in a particular place, they’re not likely to contain in those places, and therefore they’re not likely to spend a whole lot of time elevating, prioritizing the interests of those places,” he said.
“We may be an important and sizable city in Massachusetts, but if we’re not voting, we diminish ourselves,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell also explained that the delay in getting New Bedford election results Tuesday night was because of a technical problem in one of the precincts.
“The reason they were late was there was a – I guess you could call it a computer glitch – in one precinct, 3F,” he said. “There was an issue with ballots being loaded up to the disk, to whatever they use now, a memory stick or a disk, that had to get reloaded, so it took time to bring a computer tech in to do it. If that didn’t work, they would have had to (hand count) it but it did work, (so) they got the results a little after 10 p.m.”
When asked if he was ready to endorse any of the statewide candidates, Mitchell mentioned his support of Democratic candidate for governor and current Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.
“Obviously I support Maura Healey, she’s been a friend for a long time. I went to college with her – well, I was a year ahead of her,” Mitchell said. “But she’s somebody who I support, and I think she’ll be a very good governor. I haven't uttered the ‘e word’ yet in that race, but it’s kind of anticlimactic.”
Mitchell said there will be an event in New Bedford with Healey sometime on Thursday, and he intimated that’s when he will offer a formal endorsement of her candidacy.
“So I’lll have more to say about that then, but I think she'll be a really good governor,” he said.