Voter turnout in odd-year elections has been consistently low in Bristol County and other parts of Massachusetts, with fewer and fewer people showing up to vote. Some experts blame the decline on the decreased circulation of local newspapers, or the lack of competition for local elected offices. MassVOTE, a nonpartisan advocacy group, recommends moving municipal elections to even-numbered years, so that voters choose their mayors, city councils and school committees on the same day as they vote for president or governor. Rhode Island, where Central Falls and Woonsocket moved their mayoral elections to even-numbered years in 2012, serves as a case study for the effectiveness of this approach. In California, voter participation in local elections tripled on average in cities that switched from odd to even years for their local elections, according to California Common Cause. While some mayors in Bristol County cities are open to the idea, others are skeptical or are exploring other options.

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