WBUR

Steady Voter Turnout Reported In Many Cities and Towns

Massachusetts residents cast their votes in the special general election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, in Seekonk on Tuesday. (AP)

Massachusetts residents cast their votes in the special general election to fill the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy, in Seekonk on Tuesday. (AP)

BOSTON — By midday Tuesday, turnout was reported to be steady in many cities and towns across Massachusetts, as voters go to the polls to fill the U.S. Senate seat left open by the death of Edward M. Kennedy.

Phones were ringing off the hook with voter inquiries in Framingham. In New Bedford, election officials expressed disbelief at the constant stream of voters. Similar turnout was reported in East Weymouth, as the parking lot at Pingree School was full as the polls opened at 7 a.m.

“This is like a presidential election!,” a poll worker in East Weymouth said.

As of 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, more than 23,000 people had voted in Boston — or about 6.5 percent of the total voting population — after two hours of polling.

But in some smaller towns, like North Adams, polling stations remained quiet. Turnout also was sparse early at Highlands Elementary School in Braintree, as snow fell rapidly at approximately 8 a.m.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin predicted that as many as 2.2 million voters could head to the polls Tuesday, which is about half of registered voters in Massachusetts, and the same number of people who re-elected Sen. Edward Kennedy in 2006.

Galvin said that he sent 105,000 absentee ballots to voters who requested them across the state. “The level of interest indicated by the absentee balloting indicates that interest is much higher than in the primary on Dec. 8,” he said.

He also noticed a marked increase in voter inquiry calls to his office as the race heated up in the past week. “There has been a dramatic increase in interest, and we’re hoping that translates into good turnout today,” he said.

Galvin said local officials are prepared to assist voters who have difficulty getting to the polls because of snow.

Polls will remain open until 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

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  • Margaret jean

    The possibility of Scott Brown taking the seat of the late Ted Kennedy is really quite sad! I am amazed that the people of Massachussetts can’t see through this hypocrit of a man! How dare he call himself an Independent!

  • Bob

    Margaret, you are the one that is sad.

  • Kim St Pierre

    I would hate to see the fight for a better tomorrow for not only the wealthy, but for every person in the United Statedgo by the wayside. The fight that Ted Kennedy fought for the majority of his life, be a fight that ended with him in Massachusetts. To ensure that his fight goes on, and the fight for the underprivledged continues please go out an VOTE for Coakley.

  • http://lorimccraney@windstream.net Suwanavi

    Go Massachusetts! Ted Kennedy’s legacy needs your support. The country needs your support. Down with Brown!

  • CMYK_Josh

    Maybe it’s time for a change. Go Brown!

  • James

    If asked, Martha Coakley would understand why big problems cannot be left to little solutions.
    Should it be the case that collective resources are ONLY put to use to help others after unfathomable natural disaster (like Haiti)? No amount of self-reliance is going to get anyone out from under a ton of rubble. And nothing but the scale of resources a national government can muster is going to get the job done. If you can, imagine making a choice of PREVENTIVE measures to avert disaster – and if you can, recognize that disasters come in different forms. Social security and later Medicare preventing masses of elderly from living in poverty without basic healthcare, access to public education preventing masses from being ruled over by an educated few (and enabling economic progress), civil rights preventing unequal treatment under law and more… Trying to pretend you don’t have a stake in accessability to healthcare for all is like living in the city and trying to opt out of the sewer system. It can’t be done. We are more bound to one another by these matters, and in more profound ways, than is acknowledged by Brown or his supporters. He is the wrong choice.

  • Wade

    “It’s the peoples seat”
    Go Scott Go

  • Al

    “I would hate to see the fight for a better tomorrow for not only the wealthy, but for every person in the United Statedgo by the wayside”

    Quite an assumption that Dems …”fight for a better tomorrow” and others do not?? Helllllooo!! Isn’t that $2.3 TRILLION hand out (sorry, stimulus package) helping the wealthy??

  • KZC

    The people of Massachusetts shouldn’t let one wannabee Senator deny the rest of the country what we already enjoy here in the Bay State, healthcare for all. Please go out and VOTE for Martha Coakley and be heard today.

  • David

    DOWN WITH BROWN!!! 2.2 Million MEANS COAKLEY WINS!!!

    BYE, BROWNSHIRTS!

  • Dena

    Kick them out… KICK THEM ALL OUT

  • Bill

    Thankfully Ted Kennedy’s radical political legacy will fade away quickly. He and his lackluster career will be forgotten about after the polls close tonight.

  • jeffery mcnary

    well, the a.g. said that she and hubby like to travel. let them travel…but not as a u.s. senator. look at how she ran her own campaign…is this how you’d like someone to run the ‘people’s business’…to me she’s already started missing votes. no way…don’t let the country laugh at mass anymore than they are.

  • Paola M

    If we only had a chance to be heard here in California as you do with Scott Brown….instead of our senators that only do what they want and pay no attention to “the people’s” worries or needs…even the ones that have them on that position…I’ve realized they are not there for us, they won’t listen.

  • Michael J

    There is nothing more beautiful than seeing Massachssettes (as Croakley calls it) Democrats running scared. Drove some elderly neighbors to the polls today. They’re fed up with Massachusetts politics and couldn’t wait to vote for Scott Brown.

  • Michael J

    Why are the dems so scared? Because they won’t be able to shove stuff down our throat any longer! Serves them right for raising the sales tax by 25% six months ago, when people get no raises or laid off, against the will of the people. You piss your constitutents off long enough, they riot. Today is the day! GO BROWN!

  • http://ChoosingTransformationNow.com Emily

    We all want relief from struggle and economic difficulties. We all want things handled better. Check out my post on the topic: ChoosingTransformationNow.com/blog/go-team

  • Glen

    I have watched as Pennsylvania Ave and Wall Street have all benefited while Main Street has continued to pay and suffer. Not very much has been done for people who are stuck with predatory mortgages, not much has been done to stop credit default swaps a 45 trillion a year industry that is at the core of this meltdown (a practice started under Bill Clintons watch by the way), and I see no substantial plan for creating new jobs which is crucial for an economy that relies 2/3 on consumer spending.
    I voted for Obama because he had a message of change and of hope. We were told that things in Washington would be more transparent. I do not think that the health care debate has been very transparent, and a 2000 page Bill is not transparent it is business as usual in D.C. The only reason to have Bill that large is to confuse and hide pork and waste. This bill is so big most members have not even read the entire bill they have had to hold classes. As a great campaign manager once said, “It is the economy, stupid.” 
    I believe the special election in Massachusetts is a precursor to the midterms if the Democrats cannot figure that lesson out. What happened to Clinton in his first term is about to be repeated. The Democratic Party needs to focus on the economy first because although having universal healthcare will be great a great accomplishment most middle class families are more worried about being homeless, jobless, and hungry.
    I am voting for Scott Brown to try and wake up D.C. Both parties need to understand how bad things are in the real economy. We as voters need to create turn over regularly until D.C. actually understands and responds to Main Streets concerns because not the lobby. Main Street pays the bills D.C. just right the checks and let’s be honest they do not have a great track record.

  • RoBoTech

    OK, Galven says 105,000 Absentees ballots. IF Brown wind by more than 105,000, then that makes counting Absentee ballots mute! And Saturday, it was reported that Absentee ballots counted was already 51% to 32%, Brown.
    So, if Galvin tries to slow step the certification because of Absentee ballots, that’s asinine and a power play!
    I hope the GOP has this ready to go!

  • RoBoTech

    “DOWN WITH BROWN!!! 2.2 Million MEANS COAKLEY WINS!!!

    BYE, BROWNSHIRTS!
    Posted by David”
    yeah, I’ll be back in a couple of hours to call YOU out!
    Will YOU be here?
    That’s what I thought.

  • Al

    “BYE, BROWNSHIRTS!
    Posted by David”
    yeah, I’ll be back in a couple of hours to call YOU out!
    Will YOU be here?
    That’s what I thought.”

    How old are you?

  • RoBoTech

    Brown won. Now aren’t there any Liberals who said Croak-ley would win that has the courage to come back and say “I was wrong”?
    Won’t hold my breath.

  • euonymous

    Needless to say this is why so many of us wanted to make Mike Capuano the Democratic candidate. Martha Coakley is a wonderful human being and a fantastic, dedicated civil servant. She has been an excellent attorney general. But her experience is as a prosecutor. She never understood how to campaign for this type of elective office in a rough and dirty environment. Her lack of understanding was perceived as arrogance, which was unfortunate. Brown’s lies and expensive media/online efforts carried the day. So let’s suck it up and get on with the fight for the things we believe in – in Massachusetts.

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