Get-out-the-vote efforts could make or break candidates

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There have been grand pronouncements about the need for a city governed more transparently, bold promises about remaking public education, and more pedestrian debates over how many Hubway stations belong neighborhoods.

But the broadbrush policy proposals that marked the first six months of the Boston mayor’s race give way Tuesday to the most prosaic of election traditions: some way, any way, getting voters to the polls.

There is more on the line than the usual bragging rights. The winner of the Nov. 5 final election will assume not only the mantle of mayor, but will also be able to quickly appoint new leadership to the school and police departments. Those choices can reshape much of city life.

Get-out-the-vote operations—GOTV, or “go-tee-vee,” in political shorthand—have defined winning campaigns in Massachusetts in recent years. They have become points of pride for many of this year’s mayoral campaigns, which have inherited operatives from earlier statewide races.

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