Despite clear skies and warm temperatures on Election Day, voter turnout was light in Haverhill, and those voters who did go the polls exhibited little enthusiasm for their choices. There were few new faces on the ballot and the contest for mayor was one-sided.
Across polling stations throughout the city, voters quickly entered and exited without having to fight any lines. Voters interviewed by the Gazette said they turned out because it was their civic duty but were apathetic about the choices presented to them.
Tracy Kuver, 44, a mother of six, said she voted to set an example for her children and encourage them to visit the polls. "I want to be a role model," she said.
"It's my civic duty," said Tracy Kuver, 44.
Said Frank Tasca, 72: "If you don't go out and vote you can't complain."
Others, understanding the importance of voting, were dismayed by the sluggish turnout.
"I'm disturbed so many people are turned off," Carole Pelchat, 74, said after exiting the polls at the Hunking Middle School. "People died to do this."
Poll workers at the Hunking described the turnout as low but close to the 15 percent voter turnout the City Clerk's office had anticipated for the election.
Pelchat said she wanted to vote once again for new candidates into the City Council, as she had back in 2009.
"I always have an eye open for new blood," she said.
Noting her membership in the Greater Haverhill League of Women Voters, she bemoaned the lack of female candidates.
Some locations, such as Haverhill High School, reported a steady but very slow trickle of voters.
"We came to beat the line," David Woolfall, 47, said as he exited the deserted polling stations in the high school gymnasium. "I guess we beat the line."
Woolfall said the most important race on the ballot for him was for School Committee but said he knew little about the positions of either incumbents or the lone challenger, Gene Zylkuski.
If voters weren't excited by the options on the ballot, some polling locations did offer treats. There was a Parent Teacher Organization bake sale at Pentucket Lake Elementary school.
Kathleen McAvoy, 65, and Jeffrey McAvoy, 41, emerged from Pentucket Lake with several bags of baked goods and hopes for change.
"I wanted to change up the council again," Jeffrey McAvoy said, noting he voted for several freshman councilors in the last election.
Kathleen McAvoy, meanwhile said she avoided voting for a full slate of filling out a complete ballot and instead cast votes for a select few candidates.
Most voters said they selected incumbent Mayor James Fiorentini for their mayoral choice, noting his leadership and his role as an "institution" in the city. They said they knew little of Debra challenger Campanile.
Woolfall said he voted for Fiorentini out of familiarity.