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Mayor’s race will turn on who comes to the polls

The preliminary vote garnered only a 30 percent turnout.

Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe

The preliminary vote garnered only a 30 percent turnout.

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Boston voters who can’t tell the difference between Marty Walsh and John Connolly, consider this: A host of special interests, including those who’ve been contributing “mystery money” in the final days of the campaign, think they know the difference. As do all those who have business before the city, or work for it, or hope to be employed in a new administration. But judging by the pitiful turnout that followed a truly inspiring preliminary-election campaign — just over 30 percent — too many others are simply too bored or uninterested to go to the voting booth.

So they, of course, will get the mayor that others want. And that, in turn, will only further the sense that city elections work only for those who have a direct stake in them, that no one speaks for the average taxpayer. There are a lot of catchphrases to describe Boston — a “majority-minority city,” a “city of immigrants,” the “intellectual capital of the United States.” But when it comes to choosing its government, a decision that will bear on all those assessments, the only Boston that matters is the electorate that shows up to vote.

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