Ford Hall Forum: Low Turnout in Municipal Elections

Low Turnout in Municipal Elections: Implications for Democracy, Citizens of Color and Low Income Individuals

6:30 - 8:30 PM on Thursday, November 5

FREE and open to the public, reservations recommended

Long term trends indicate the voter turnout in municipal elections in larger cities like Boston is on the decline. In municipal elections, turnout can be as low as single digits. Low-turnout elections tend to be dominated by whiter, more affluent, older voters. What are the implications of low turnout municipal elections for municipal services? For minorities? For democracy? Join us for a provocative and thoughtful discussion of the causes, consequences, and possible fixes for low turnout municipal elections.


  • Sarah Anzia (professor at University of California, Berkeley and author of Timing and Turnout: How Off-Cycle Elections Favor Organized Groups)
  • Zoltan Hajnal (professor at University of California, San Diego and author of America’s Uneven Democracy: Turnout, Race, and Representation in City Politics)
  • Elena Letona (Executive Director, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts)

Co-presented with the Scholars Strategy Network and the College of Arts & Sciences at Suffolk University