9:24 a.m.: Still in need of a flu shot? There's a free clinic running today while polls are open at the McCarthy School at 76 Lake St. Voters in Ward 5 Precinct 3 vote at the West Peabody elementary school.
9:17 a.m.: Given the likelihood of a low turnout, School Committee member Dave McGeney rightly points out that some races could be decided by just a handful of votes. He mentioned the razor thin margin of victory for longtime Ward 4 Councilor Bob Driscoll in 2009.
Driscoll beat back a challenge that year from Jeff Grayson by a single vote in the general election. That led to a recount -- an arduous process for all involved -- and Driscoll ended up gaining one more vote after three hours of meticulous counting concluded.
That was the first time since 1940 that a race had been so close. That year Mayor Joseph O'Keefe won the election by a vote, leading to a recount in which he gained several more votes to seal his defeat of John Murphy.
So, if it were to come to that this Tuesday, curious what goes into a recount?
First, a candidate would have to file a formal petition with the City Clerk's office along with 10 signatures and explain the reason for counting off the votes again.
The recount would then be held in Wiggin Auditorium with supporters on both sides, and likely attorneys and a moderator, all observing several official vote counters review each and every ballot.
If the candidates were still unsatisfied with the new results, they would have to take it to court.
8:36 a.m.: The polls opened Tuesday at 7 a.m., and while the number of people predicted to get out and vote is low, at least they'd be greeted by fair weather. Peabody's Election Day is forecast is sunny and 47 degrees.
City Clerk Tim Spanos says he's not expecting a high turnout, just 28 percent in fact. In total, there are 35,392 voters as of the latest registration deadline.
"It's not going to be anything super duper," Spanos said, sharing his forecast with Peabody Patch on Monday.
He said that turnout would be relatively low, historically speaking, and he believes it's partly due to not having a mayor's race this year, along with no contest in other citywide races for School Committee and the Municipal Light Commission.
Spanos added that the Councilor-at-Large race and three ward council races will draw out voters though.
"I'm hoping people come out and vote, but based on past elections, it doesn't look too [promising]," he said.
In terms of city elections in recent years, 2011 saw just 40 percent of city voters hit the polls despite a heated mayoral race, and 2009 and 2007 saw 32 and 30 percent turnouts, respectively, still with a handful of contentious citywide races.
Check @PeabodyPatch and our Facebook page for updates and catch up on related coverage below:
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