After the election, a salute, a lament

The city’s municipal election is now history, and with it came some historic triumphs – Mayor Tom Menino won an unprecedented fifth full term, and Dorchester’s own Ayanna Pressley became the first-ever woman of color to win a citywide campaign while also being the first Dorchester resident to win across the city’s neighborhoods in more than a quarter century.

So, Tuesday’s election results are now official, and the electorate will have the chance to catch its collective breath and prepare for – whoops! – another election.

That’s right: In less than five weeks, voters will be asked to return to the polling places and select party nominees for the US Senate seat left vacant on Ted Kennedy’s death. Four Democrats are in the competition, as are two Republican candidates, and each party will nominate one on Tues., Dec. 8. Six weeks later, on Jan. 19, voters statewide will choose their new junior senator.

What a time it is for politicos, campaign consultants, and fans of politics. If this were sports, it would be the equivalent of having two World Series championships, or a couple of Super Bowls, back to back, in two short months.

There is one note of dismay, though: Some commentators say the voter turnout, at 31 percent, was higher than expected this week; but by our count, that means that almost seven in ten people didn’t bother to vote.
Mike Flaherty and Tom Menino staged a lively race, as did the candidates who sought our votes for City Council. We salute them all. The shame, though, is that most people failed to exercise their right to vote. Too bad.