th a $125,000 price tag and zero impact on local election candidates’ fortunes, the city’s Sept. 1 preliminary election is poised to be cancelled. City Council President Daniel Cahill confirmed councilors will be asked Tuesday night to vote on scheduling a July 21 public hearing allowing residents to discuss scrapping the preliminary. If councilors and state legislators vote to cancel the preliminary, the names of every candidate who submitted nomination papers to run for city office will be listed on the Nov. 3 final election ballot. “No one is going to be knocked off the ballot. No one is going to be disenfranchised,” said City Clerk Mary Audley.
Audley and Cahill said city spending concerns are significant enough to warrant cancelling the preliminary election. Costs associated with election include paying 168 polls workers as well as police officers who work on election days. Elections involve ordering ballots, coding and testing ballot cards, renting trucks to move voting machines and ballots and advertising costs associated with informing the public in advance of the election.
Audley said the 2015 municipal election has an additional public information challenge — ongoing work at North Shore Community College means Ward 4 polling places will be moved to the Lynn Museum, and the move requires extensive public notification.
Audley called the preliminary election “a free poll” for candidates who want to test their popularity with the voters. “It’s a waste of money,” she said.