Mayor Menino remains in hospital, votes by absentee ballot

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino voted today by absentee ballot because he remained hospitalized with a viral infection and a back injury.

Menino completed his ballot Friday at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he has spent 12 days recuperating. Doctors have not indicated when he will return home or how long Menino will need to convalesce before returning to City Hall, but his condition continues to improve, said his spokeswoman, Dot Joyce.

“He was looking at turnout numbers and was encouraged by the number of people voting,” Joyce said. “Obviously, he is concerned about the cold weather and people waiting outdoors tonight after work.”

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The city sent election commissioners to polling places with long lines to make sure voting machines are functioning properly. On Tuesday afternoon, there was a two-hour wait at the polling place at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square, according to people waiting to cast ballots.

Doctors have diagnosed Menino with an upper respiratory infection that developed while he was vacationing in Italy. The virus left him extremely weak. His condition worsened on the return flight to Boston and he developed a small blood clot in one leg.

Menino, 69, checked into the hospital on Oct. 26 and made some progress before injuring his back. Doctors have said he suffered a compression fracture in one of the vertebra of his spine. A number of factors could have caused the fracture, but it probably was related to Menino’s illness and the way he was lying in his hospital bed.