Local observers yesterday predicted a moderate to heavy turnout for tomorrow's statewide primary election, despite an unusual turn of events that has left almost one quarter of the city's eligible voters off the Cambridge Election Commission's rolls.
The commission's official voting lists are normally revised annually by a mail census. But federal and state funding cuts during the summer kept officials from following up on unreturned census forms with door-to-door visits, explained Election Commissioner Peter Sturges.
As a result, about 11,000 city residents were dropped from the voting lists. The commission informed the residents of the action three weeks ago.
Sturges said eligible residents who come to the polls tomorrow with identification that includes their name and address will be reinstated on the lists and allowed to vote.
Campaign workers in several different primary races agreed that the census mix-up will probably not significantly affect tomorrow's turnout because of public clarifications by the election commission and because the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination has attracted a great deal of media coverage.
As one worker put it. "Most people, if they've voted in the past, would just come anyway." The average primary turnout in Cambridge is about 30 percent of the city's approximately 49,000 eligible adults, Sturges said.