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Fewer voter registrations than expected in Berlin

October 28, 2009
BERLIN — Candidates have touted next week's election as one of the most important in recent years, but that sentiment hasn't resulted in long lines of voters registering at city hall.

"It's been very slow, I've been surprised," said City Clerk Debra Patrick.

Mrs. Patrick said most important elections result in lots of early registrations and absentee ballots, but not this year.

"I feel it's been quiet," she said.

There are close to 6,000 registered voters in the city, she said, up from 5,628 two years ago. The presidential election last year really pushed up the numbers, she said, but still it's been quieter this year than she expected.

In the 2007 municipal election 45 percent of registered voters turned out, according to city records, and more than 71 percent voted for David Bertrand for mayor.

In past elections, however, turnout wasn't nearly so strong. In the 2005 municipal election only 13 percent of the city turned out to vote.

Mrs. Patrick said she doesn't have any idea what sort of turnout the election will get this year, but if registrations are any indication, it won't be anything close to the turnout that voted in the last municipal election.

Matin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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