A mea culpa: With 100 percent of the precincts counted, I made the observation that fewer people voted in this mayoral election than in any since 1979.

All the precincts may have been counted but not all the votes. Thousands of so-called provisional ballots remained. These are the ballots that remain behind, for example, when someone isn’t on the voter list at a precinct but should be. They fill out the ballot but it’s not counted until they can be verified. And there are other reasons.

I should have known better. It was the excruciatingly methodical count of these provisional ballots in 2004 that everyone was watching to see whether Donna Frye had indeed won the mayoral election that year.

So, with the count where it’s at as of Sunday, fewer people voted in this mayoral election than any since 1986. But if the count keeps adding votes at this pace, it will probably mean that more people voted in this election than in 1996 — barely — when Susan Golding ran for re-election against no major opponent.

You can keep up with the numbers here and the history here.

Sorry. I’m glad all I did was note the “history” of the turnout, make a big deal of it and repeat it on television and in public forums.


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