Warren Targets Inactive Voters in Brockton
November 05, 2012
by Alex Bloom
U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's campaign pledged to chip in and help the city's thousands of inactive voters if they need assistance on Election Day.
A third of the city's roughly 53,000 registered voters will be listed as inactive on Tuesday when voters head to the polls because they did not reply to the city's annual census and did not respond to a follow-up mailing.
When they reach the polling place, voters listed as inactive will need to fill out an affirmation of residency and will need to bring along an approved form of identification.
During the Democratic candidate's swing through Brockton on Thursday, Warren's campaign spokesman Alethea Harney addressed the issue.
"Our campaign is fueled by door-to-door, one-on-one conversations," Harney said in a statement. "The issue is easily resolved at the polling location and we will be using our grassroots operation to help voters."
With days to go before Election Day, Warren rallied support in the City of Champions, talking to a crowd outside Christo's Restaurant on Thursday.
In a tight race with GOP U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, Warren asked voters to do more than just tell friends to cast ballots on Tuesday. She encouraged voters to reach out to people in line at the grocery store, and people who have Brown signs on their lawn.
"Talk to people, because history will judge us by what we do here," Warren said. "It comes down to us."
Warren said after the rally that she wants to work hard for Brockton.
"Brockton is hugely important to me and my campaign," Warren said. "Hardworking folks live here and they need a good important partner in Washington."
Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti, who endorsed Warren, introduced the Harvard law professor. Balzotti said after the rally that she appreciates Warren and other candidates visiting the city firsthand.
"They have an opportunity to see the city, to know what the city is all about -- not just the headlines," Balzotti said.
Talking about inactive voters, Balzotti said city officials will do what they can to keep lines moving and ensure that every voter gets a chance.
"We will have to do our best as a city to make sure everything is taken care of," Balzotti said.
Asked about the inactive voters, Brown campaign spokesmen did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Brockton Elections Commissioner John McGarry said earlier this week that the city's large list inactive voters could cause longer lines at the polls - which will see a high turnout from the presidential election.
Losing votes in Brockton could hurt Warren, as the city leans Democratic. Attorney General Martha Coakley won Brockton over Brown in 2010 when he won the U.S. Senate seat in a January special election.
Stonehill College Professor Peter Ubertaccio acknowledged that the long poll lines could cause some Brockton voters to leave before voting, but said that Warren will benefit from high Democratic turnout around the state.
"In a Democratic year in this state, she's probably going to pull ahead enough in places like Brockton and Boston and the urban areas in the state to offset (Brown)," said Ubertaccio, a political science professor and director of the college's Martin Institute.
Statewide polls show voters trending toward Warren, with a Suffolk University/7 News poll released this week giving her a seven-point edge among 600 likely voters.
At her campaign rally, Warren said she doesn't rely on polls and said she's not taking any votes for granted.
"I'm counting on every vote in Brockton," Warren said.
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