By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – The polls are open in Boston for the preliminary mayoral election, a key step toward November when the state’s most important city will chose a new person to hold its most powerful office for the first time in 20 years.

Read: The Mayor’s Race: Your Guide

The weather is beautiful, perfect for a leisurely walk or drive to the polls. And it’s highly unlikely there will be any significant wait to vote for those who do show up.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

That’s because the most generous estimates of voter turnout Tueday have been in the area of 125,000, less than a third of the city’s 387,000 registered voters.

No big deal, I can hear some of you saying. It’s only the preliminary, where the 12 candidate field will be narrowed to two. If you miss it Tuesday, you can still show up for the big one on November 5th.

I respectfully beg to differ.

Less than a one-third voter turnout would be a pathetic outcome, a troubling sign of voter ignorance, indifference and negligence.

For starters, there can be no reasonable confusion about the importance of this election.

The mayor has more control over what goes on in Boston than the president has over the United States.

And there are no generic problems with the field of candidates here. With a few exceptions, any one of them is easily qualified to take charge.

Even so, come tonight, there will be complaints heard about the two finalists.

They’d better not be coming from anyone who doesn’t make it to the polls today. When you forfeit your franchise, you get what you deserve.

And the candidates in this race deserve better than you.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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