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Election Day: Mass. Voters Head To Polls

UPDATE 8 p.m.: The polls have closed in Massachusetts. Check out our live blog for rolling coverage as returns come in from across the state. 

BOSTON — It’s Election Day in Massachusetts, and voters face a raft of decisions — from picking a president and a U.S. senator, to deciding ballot questions and electing members of Congress and the Legislature.

The most closely watched contest is the race pitting Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. It’s the most expensive political contest in Massachusetts history.

The senator voted Tuesday morning in his hometown of Wrentham, with his wife and one of their daughters. He told reporters he felt relaxed.

“I’ve done everything I could,” Brown said. “I slept very well last night and reflect every day. Every day I’ve been a senator, I reflect as to how I can be a better senator and to be better man. And I feel very good about what we did and how we handled it, so now we’ll see what happens.”

Warren voted Tuesday morning at the Graham & Parks School in Cambridge, where she was greeted by dozens of supporters.

“I’m excited, I’m excited,” Warren said. “You know, a lot of people are excited about this. And it isn’t about me. It’s about us.”

Both Brown and Warren were scheduled to hit the campaign trail again following voting.

Voters are also choosing between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Obama. Romney voted in Belmont Tuesday; the president voted early in Chicago last month.

Massachusetts voters will also decide the fate of ballot questions that would legalize medical marijuana, allow physician-assisted suicide and overhaul car repair rules.

There are also a number of high-profile congressional races. The fiercest contest is in the 6th district, where Republican Richard Tisei is challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney.

Early Tuesday, there were reports of long lines at polling places around Greater Boston, including Boston, where 148,134 votes were cast by 3 p.m., and Weymouth, where WBUR’s Fred Thys voted.

“In the eight years I’ve voted here, I have never seen so many people vote,” Thys reported. “There was a line snaking around the hallways of the school. I spoke to people here far longer than I. They cannot remember so many people turning out to vote. It looks like secretary of state’s prediction could turn out to be true.”

Secretary of State William Galvin said Tuesday that his earlier prediction that turnout could match or possibly exceed the record 3.1 million voters who cast ballots in the 2008 presidential election was still within reach.

But Thys found voters undaunted by the lines.

“It’s an important thing,” Weymouth voter John Caniff told Thys. “I always vote. I voted in every election since I was 18. I never miss.”

Galvin said most reports of voting problems were relatively minor.

In Billerica, for example, workers at one polling place became concerned that they might run out of ballots. A police car, lights flashing, was dispatched to deliver more ballots and no one was denied a chance to vote.

Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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