ATTLEBORO — Nobody seems to know what voter turnout will be like Tuesday for a special election for mayor, but they all agreed it’s likely to be bad.
George Spatcher, chairman of the city election commission, wouldn’t even venture a guess.
“I don’t know,” he said Sunday. “Municipal elections have notoriously low turnout and we’ve never done one like this.”
By “like this,” he means a special election for mayor in the middle of winter with snow and rain in the forecast.
The candidates are Timothy Barone, former City Councilor John Davis, City Councilor Cathleen DeSimone and acting Mayor Jay Dilisio.
With snow in the forecast, the election commission will meet Monday morning to determine if the election should be postponed, but Spatcher said the latest forecasts do not indicate at this time that the weather will be bad enough to impact voting.
“I don’t think there will be a change in plans for Tuesday,” he said.
Even under the best of circumstances, Attleboro’s regular November elections in odd-numbered years draws only a scattering of voters, so the special election turnout is expected to be lower.
Former city council president Frank Cook predicted under 25 percent of voters turning out. Former Mayor Paul Heroux was even less optimistic, guessing 10 percent.
The predictions compare to 21.95 percent in 2021, 27.93 percent in 2019, and 33.24 percent in 2017.
Those regular elections included races for mayor, city council, school committee and several other posts.
Tuesday’s special election is solely for mayor and will fill the spot left vacant when Heroux resigned last month to become Bristol County sheriff.