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Onlookers waited eagerly Thursday in an auditorium at City Hall, an eclectic crowd of more than 60 that included campaign managers, political wannabes, elected officials, and city staffers curious to watch the theater of the big day.
Eyes focused on an antiquated machine atop a table. It was a gold-colored bingo spinner with a hand crank and a round metal cage the size of a toaster oven. Welcome to the city’s ballot draw, when democracy goes decidedly low-tech to determine the order that names will appear on the ballot this fall in Boston’s first open race for mayor in two decades.
Ballot order matters more this year than the past: 12 people are running for mayor, and 39 more names will appear on the ballot for City Council.