HAVERHILL — About 25 percent of Haverhill’s 41,457 registered voters are expected to cast ballots Tuesday to elect their mayor, City Council and School Committee, according to projections by elections officials.
That would put voter participation somewhere between the 2009 election, when veteran City Councilor John Michitson challenged incumbent Mayor James Fiorentini, and the 2011 contest in which Fiorentini faced political unknown Debra Campanile.
The 25 percent voter turnout projection is based on requests for absentee ballots, elections officials said.
In the 2009 election, 463 voters requested absentee ballots compared to 306 in 2011. As of Friday, 360 voters had requested forms to cast an absentee ballot prior to election day, said acting City Clerk Heather Budrewicz.
Based on requests for absentee ballots and similar factors, Budrewicz is projecting about 10,000 voters will cast ballots Tuesday.
A total of 12,476 voters cast ballots in the 2009 election, while 9,120 ballots were cast in 2009. By comparison, 27,723 Haverhill voters cast a ballot in last year’s presidential election that featured the Barak Obama-Mitt Romney race.
“The turnout is going to depend on how much interest there is in the mayoral sticker candidate and the council races,” said Budrewicz, who is overseeing her first election since longtime City Clerk Margaret Toomey retired last summer.
Two weeks ago, firefighter Tyler Kimball, 50, announced he was challenging Fiorentini, 66, on a write-in/sticker campaign. Kimball, an acting lieutenant in the Fire Department who also owns a large family farm on East Broadway, said he wants to give voters an alternative to Fiorentini, who is seeking a Haverhill record sixth term. Fiorentini had no challenger until Kimball’s late entry into the contest.
Because Kimball didn’t take out nomination papers, his name will not appear on the ballot. Instead, the ballot will have a blank line for entering Kimball’s name and address along with a box for checking off his name. That can be done by writing the information in the blank space or placing a pre-made sticker with the information on the line.