SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

June 24, 2013

Drumming up interest

Gomez, Markey campaigns work to get out the vote

(Continued)

Despite all the campaigning, the race has not drawn much voter interest. Danvers Town Clerk Joseph Collins said it’s looking like turnout will be 20 percent in town.

“It’s like no election is happening,” said Collins, who said few residents have asked for absentee ballots. Statewide, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said requests for absentee ballots are down nearly 22 percent from the January 2010 special election when former Sen. Scott Brown defeated Attorney General Martha Coakley to win the late Ted Kennedy’s seat.

Galvin said the Stanley Cup finals, the Bulger trial and the end of the school year are all competing for voters’ attention.

So, how do supporters get the vote out?

Barcikowski said local Democrats have a ground game to not only identify likely Markey voters, but to get them to go to the polls. Since May 1, he said, volunteers have knocked on 5,000 doors.

“That is a tremendous volunteer effort,” Barcikowski said.

But Gomez supporter Jeff Stinson, a former Hamilton selectman, said voter apathy could actually work in Gomez’s favor, because it means the Democrats are not excited about their candidate. It’s what allowed Brown to beat Coakley in 2010, he said.

“Lack of enthusiasm in general isn’t a bad thing, but that means the establishment is asleep at the wheel,” said Stinson, who also worked on the congressional campaign of Republican Richard Tisei in his effort to unseat John Tierney.

“The burden is really on the Republican candidate to get his folks to the polls,” he said. “... You are going to see the phones ringing off the hook.”

Polls will be open tomorrow throughout the North Shore from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at eforman@salemnews.com.

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