Latest Updates: Election Day In Mass.
WBUR’s complete coverage of Election Night, with most recent updates on top.
11/7 Update: Two concessions: Backers of the doctor-assisted suicide ballot question and Richard Tisei, in the 6th district.
There’s still no resolution on Massachusetts’ doctor-assisted suicide ballot question, and folks are still voting in Florida, and there may be more news coming out of the state’s 6th Congressional District, but, just before 3 a.m., that’s essentially a wrap on Election 2012. So here are your headlines:
You can also scroll through this live blog for how Election Night unfolded.
Massachusetts was the first state to legalize same-sex marriage and, tonight, (at least) two other states are poised to join the Bay State. First:
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Maine voters approve same-sex marriage, marking milestone for gay rights movement.
It’s the first state to approve of same-sex marriage by ballot, as opposed to through a law or court rulings.
Additionally, The Washington Post reports that Maryland voters approved of same-sex marriage. It’s also on the ballot in Washington state tonight.
2:10 a.m.: The New York Times clarifies on Washington state:
In Washington State, supporters of a referendum authorizing same-sex marriage appeared to have an edge in pre-election polls, but final results were not expected until later this week because ballots were still being mailed in as late as Tuesday.
We’ve told you about results for two of three Massachusetts ballot questions, but what about the third? Well, as of this writing, Question 2, on physician-assisted suicide is within 2 percentage points.
Other outlets had called it earlier, but this just in, as NPR confirms:
OBAMA WINS: After a hard-fought battle with Republican Mitt Romney, President Obama has been re-elected, NPR now projects. With 10 Electoral College votes from Wisconsin now in his win column, the president has 275 — five more than needed to be president.
11:45 p.m.: The lede of NPR’s report:
The euphoria of Barack Obama’s supporters on election night four years ago was replaced Tuesday by relief, as the incumbent president won a second term over Republican Mitt Romney in an effort powered more by organization than by ideas.
12:25 a.m.: With the race decided (but before Obama or Romney have spoken), we’re continuing to follow the results in swing states. NPR has projected Obama to be the winner in Virginia, which brings him to 303 electoral votes, according to their tally.
So far, he’s won all these swing states — Virginia, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire, according to NPR projections.
1:10 a.m.: Romney has offered his concession speech, in which he said, in part: “I pray that the president will be successful in guiding this nation.” Here’s the video of the speech:
2 a.m.: Obama just completed his victory speech. The president said for the country, “the best is yet to come,” but stressed that progress is hard work. As NPR’s live blog noted:
Talking of hope, the president says he isn’t speaking of “blind optimism.” He’s talking, Obama says, about the faith that “something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.”
He also said he’ll return to the White House “more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the work that lies ahead.”
Here’s video of Obama’s speech:
1:22 a.m.: There may be more on this race, however:
Tisei campaign alleges voter improprieties in Lynn and may challenge results giving victory to John Tierney
— wburdebbecker (@wburdebbecker) November 7, 2012
1 a.m.: And we have a call. The AP reports:
BULLETIN (AP) – John Tierney, Dem, elected U.S. House, District 6, Massachusetts.
11:20 p.m.: WBUR’s Deborah Becker gets new information:
Tisei says he is within 8/10ths of a percent to John Tierney. Says he is nor conceding but thanking supporters
11:07 p.m.: WBUR’s Deborah Becker tweets that Tisei is about to concede.
With about 80 percent reporting, we’re watching results in the 6th Congressional District. As of now, Democratic U.S. Rep. John Tierney is up on Republican challenger Richard Tisei, 49 percent to 46 percent.
WBUR’s Deborah Becker reported earlier that, as the lead began to shift to the incumbent, election watchers began leaving Tisei’s party in Peabody. Here’s her on-air report during WBUR-FM’s election special:
This just in:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrat Elizabeth Warren wins Senate seat in Massachusetts.
10:15 p.m.: We’ll obviously have much more on this big story. For now, the topline news is that Warren, a first-time politician, has topped Brown, who swept into the Senate in a stunning 2010 special election upset to replace the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
As the AP notes, Warren “becomes the first woman elected to the Senate from Massachusetts.”
10:25 p.m.: WBUR’s Meghna Chakrabarti is at victorious Warren headquarters, where Gov. Deval Patrick is now speaking. He said:
It’s a good night. You did it.
When we talk about grassroots, we’re not just talking about a strategy. We’re talking about a philosophy.
10:38 p.m.: Here’s a panorama of the Warren party, from photograph Nicholas Dynan.
10:42 p.m.: Brown is addressing his gathering. “I accept the decision of the voters,” he said. He added, per WBUR’s Lynn Jolicoeur: “I kept my promise to you to be that independent voice from Massachusetts, and I have never regretted any decision I made for you.”
Here’s video and audio of Brown’s full speech:
11:24 p.m.: Warren has given her victory speech to a raucous crowd.
“We’re going to fight for a level playing field and put people back to work,” she said. She also credited supporters for “teaching a scrappy first timer how to get in the ring and win.”
Here’s video, and audio of her speech:
This just in, from NPR’s live blog:
President Obama has won New Hampshire, NPR projects. That’s a battleground state in his win column. It’s also where Mitt Romney has a vacation home and is next door to Massachusetts, where Romney was governor.
This just in from The Associated Press, in two separate bulletins:
BULLETIN (AP) – Question 1 – Yes Right to Repair, approved, Massachusetts.
BULLETIN (AP) – Question 3 – Yes Medical Marijuana, approved, Massachusetts.
And, on Question 1, recall that state lawmakers passed a compromise law on the issue, after it was placed on the ballot, but some auto clubs said it doesn’t go far enough.
10 p.m.: CommonHealth has a post on Question 3’s passage. An excerpt:
Under the law, which takes effect January 1, any patient diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition,” including cancer, glaucoma, HIV-AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s or Parkinson’s disease, ALS or multiple sclerosis can legally use marijuana medicinally as long as the patient obtains a legitimate written certificate from his or her doctor.
According to The Associated Press, Democrat Joseph Kennedy III has won the 4th Congressional District race, topping Republican Sean Bielat.
Kennedy III will return the famous political family to Congress, and replace retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.
Other Massachusetts races just called by the AP (all Democratic incumbents):
— Rep. Stephen Lynch, 8th district
— Rep. Michael Capuano, 7th district
— Rep. Ed Markey, 5th district
— Rep. Niki Tsongas, 3rd district
Update at 9:40 p.m.: (AP) – Bill Keating, Dem, elected U.S. House, District 9, Massachusetts.
And, to clarify, U.S. Reps. Richard Neal (1st district) and James McGovern (2nd district) were uncontested, and thus will also be returning to Washington.
So, the only congressional race we’re waiting on right now is the 6th district between Rep. John Tierney and Richard Tisei.
On WBUR-FM this hour, WBUR’s Bob Oakes spoke with Elizabeth Warren adviser Doug Rubin, who said he’s pleased with reports of strong turnout today:
We also spoke with Robert Maginn, the state Republican Party chairman, from Sen. Scott Brown’s headquarters:
— Another note: Gov. Deval Patrick, a top surrogate for President Obama who’s also campaigned for Warren, is in Massachusetts tonight, at Warren’s rally.
Two AP alerts from big U.S. Senate races in states just outside our border:
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Independent Maine ex-Gov. King, who vowed to fix broken US Senate, wins race for Snowe seat.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrat Chris Murphy wins Senate seat in Connecticut.
On NPR News, the independent King said “he’ll decide when he gets down there” [to D.C.] about which party to caucus with. You can follow the Senate balance of power (and all other races and results) here.
And here’s King on NPR:
With a few minutes until polls close in Massachusetts, a couple of other notes:
— We’re watching the 4th Congressional District race between Republican Sean Bielat and Democrat Joseph Kennedy III. The Herald reports that both made last-minute pitches to voters today. Here’s Bielat to the Herald:
Last time [in the 2010 race against Rep. Barney Frank], I knew the odds were against me, but I felt the momentum was on our side. … This time, it’s a lot closer. It’s just a different feeling.
— The Globe reports that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino voted by absentee ballot, because he’s still in the hospital battling a viral infection and a back injury.
— We’re watching ballot questions in Massachusetts, but also in other New England states. For instance, gay marriage is on the ballot in Maine, and Rhode Island is looking at expanded gaming in its state.
7:24 p.m.: No surprises early: NPR has called four states for Romney: Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina; and one for Obama: Vermont.*
Clarification: AP has only called Kentucky and Vermont so far.
7:35 p.m.: (AP) – Romney wins West Virginia.
8 p.m.: With new polls closing, a slew have been called by NPR, including Massachusetts for Obama. Also for the president just now: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C. And for Romney just now: Alabama, Oklahoma and Mississippi.
8:45 p.m.: Some other states (again, no surprises) NPR has called: Arkansas, Tennessee for Romney and Maine for Obama.
9:!5 p.m.: With a new round of polls closing at 9 p.m., the AP has called these states:
(AP) – Obama wins NY, MI; Romney wins NE, WY, KS, LA, SD, TX, ND.
(AP) – Obama wins New Jersey; Romney wins Arkansas.
10:45 p.m.: We’re up to 163 electoral votes for Obama, and 174 for Romney, per NPR’s count. See NPR’s live blog for continued updates of these called states.
The Associated Press has just published its Massachusetts exit poll. Here are two highlights:
– The economy was the top issue on Massachusetts voters’ minds Tuesday, and nothing else was close. About 6 out of 10 voters chose that as their top issue, with health care a distant second with about 1 in 10 considering that issue as most important. About that same ratio picked the budget deficit as their biggest concern, while only 1 in 20 chose foreign policy.
– Just over half of Massachusetts voters said the government should do more to solve problems while a significant portion of Bay Staters, nearly five out of 10, believe government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
One note, from the AP: “The preliminary exit poll of 1,173 Massachusetts voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 30 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.”
Last hour, WBUR All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer spoke with three Massachusetts voters about how they arrived at their decisions and how comfortable they are with the votes they’re casting. She spoke with:
— Ayikudy “Sri” Srikanth, of North Reading. He’s 41 years old, married with two young children, and works at a Waltham software company.
— Eula Kozma, of Medford. She’s 29, married with an infant, and works part time for a Boston nonprofit.
— Michael Kerr, of Roslindale. He’s 51, single with no children, and works in human resources for Boston University. (Hit play on the player below):
In an hour — at 7 p.m. EST — the first polls close in Indiana and Virginia close.*
In addition to following this blog and our results (of course), here are a few links to check out:
— The Boston Globe has Election Day reports, plotted on a Massachusetts map
— NPR has a live blog and returns dashboard
— Want to make your own last-minute Electoral College prediction? Check out 270towin.com
— NPR Digital Services has a live blog aggregating NPR member stations in states with key races
*Correction: This post originally stated that the first polls closed at 6 p.m., not 7 p.m. We regret the error.
Yes, we’re all watching a full slate of races and ballot questions, but WBUR’s Steve Brown reminds us to keep an eye on the Massachusetts Legislature results. His race to watch:
The most watched state Senate race is probably the Plymouth and Barnstable district. It features a rematch between Democratic Senate President Therese Murray, of Plymouth, and her Republican challenger, Thomas Keyes, of Sandwich. Keyes did very well against Murray in 2010, losing by only 4.8 points — 52.4 percent to 47.6 percent.
Turnout in heavily Democratic Lawrence has been very high all day.
“We’ve got lines basically since 7 a.m.,” a B4 precinct official said. “At one point it was over an hour, I think, because it stretched all the way down the hall and around. It’s really unbelievable.”
And from WBUR’s Fred Thys in bellwether Waltham:
Voting at the old Bright Elementary School is pretty steady. A lot of people are coming in between two jobs, or they’re taking some time out of their jobs to vote. We’re told by the clerk here in Waltham that this is the busiest polling station in town.
One of the reasons we’re looking at Waltham is Scott Brown just barely won it two years ago in his race against Martha Coakley, so it will be interesting to see whether he is able to retain it in his race against Elizabeth Warren.
WBUR’s Steve Brown was in Brockton earlier today, and found another community experiencing high turnout:
Like most other communities, Brockton is reporting a high volume of voters today. Election officials here expect turnout to meet or exceed the 73 percent turnout from four years ago.
John McGary, the city’s elections executive director, said with a few exceptions, things are going very well at the polls.
“The only problems we’ve run into is, you know, you get a voter who only shows up every four years, they’ve moved around a few times, they haven’t sent their census forms in, you know, it slows up the process for a lot of people, but overall everyone’s been great out there,” McGary said.
Voters should plan for long lines, especially in the late afternoon until polls close at 8 p.m.
WBUR’s Deborah Becker has been visiting polling locations in the 6th Congressional District, where there’s a tight race between Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. John Tierney and his Republican challenger, former state Sen. Richard Tisei.
Last hour, from Burlington, she filed this report for our Newscast unit:
There’s still a steady stream of voters here in Burlington. Police are directing traffic and trying to keep things running smoothly. There’s only one polling place here, at the high school, and it has a long driveway lined with voters and candidate signs.
Officials here estimate that turnout is up about 10 percent over the 2008 presidential election. In North Andover, where the polls opened at 6 a.m., officials say people started lining up at 5:30 a.m. to vote.
Officials at all the polling locations say the big reasons people are coming out to vote are the presidential and U.S Senate elections.
You can find WBUR’s complete coverage of the 6th district race here.
Don’t Instagram that ballot! On Twitter, we’ve been noticing a lot of people — including one Boston city councilor — share photos of their filled-in ballots. But, as WBUR’s Nate Goldman reports, such sharing is illegal in Massachusetts.
In addition to voting in Belmont, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will have his Election Night gathering in Boston, at the city’s convention center. But media access to that event is causing a bit of a stir. As The Springfield Republican reports:
The Republican/MassLive.com … planned on sending a team of at least four reporters to Romney’s headquarters, but decided to send only one after it was revealed by the Romney campaign that the cost for each approved credential was $1,020.
To the paper, one Poynter Institute teacher called the payment “outrageous.”
Each Election Day we watch for problems at the polls. While there are some very long lines in Florida and confusion in New Jersey, Secretary of State William Galvin says that today’s election appears to be running smoothly so far.
He told our Newscast unit that only scattered reports of problems have surfaced throughout Massachusetts, with the biggest concern being lines:
All precincts are up and operating and we have a very good turnout, very steady turnout. Our biggest problem is unfortunately we of course in many places have lines, but that’s what happens when you have a lot of people trying to exercise their right at the same time.
Speaking of turnout, us regular folk weren’t the only ones voting in Massachusetts this morning. See below for photos of Mitt Romney voting in Belmont, Elizabeth Warren voting in Cambridge, and Scott Brown voting in Wrentham (President Obama voted early in Chicago last month):
Our newsroom is getting anecdotal evidence of longer-than-normal voting lines so far today. Our own Fred Thys waited in a surprisingly long line in Weymouth this morning:
In the eight years I’ve voted here, I have never seen so many people vote. 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.
(On Monday, Secretary of State William Galvin said a record number of Massachusetts residents could head to the polls Tuesday.)
As of noon, 103,169 votes were cast in Boston, which is a turnout rate among voters of nearly 27 percent. As The Phoenix’s David Bernstein reports, there were 164,312 total votes when Brown won his special Senate election in 2010.
It’s Election Day in Massachusetts and across the country. Through tonight — and very possibly the early morning — this blog will feature snapshots from polling places around Greater Boston, news updates and, of course, results.
In addition to results within the blog, wbur.org will have an updated dashboard and maps of returns, beginning at 7 p.m. EST. WBUR-FM also goes live on air with special Election Night coverage, beginning at 7.
A few of our headlines from earlier today: