Choosing a successor to the late Edward M. Kennedy, who held a Massachusetts Senate seat for 47 years, is an important responsibility.
Rosalie Weiner, of Chestnut Hill, reflected on the significance of her vote Tuesday.
"Loved Ted Kennedy, voted for him for a hundred years," she said, "but times are different now and things are changing, and we need new blood."
Voters are picking which Democratic and Republican candidates will face off in the January special general election.
"I wanted to see that Ted's seat in the Senate is filled by somebody I think can do a good job," said Waltham voter Ann Kent.
Despite the importance of this primary election — the general election is widely predicted to be a Democratic blowout — turnout has been relatively light statewide. Secretary of State William Galvin said he expects 10 to 25 percent of registered voters to turn out.
"A lot of money has been spent, people are aware of the fact there is an election," Galvin said, "but it would seem as if the turnout today is being driven largely by the campaigns trying to make sure they get their supporters out."
Galvin said the turnout would probably range from 500,000 to 600,00 people.
"It's possible many voters are waiting to vote on their way home," Galvin said.
Jessica Ziegler, of Somerville, said she felt rushed in deciding which candidate to vote for in this unusually quick special election — Kennedy's seat became vacant when he died in late August.
"There were two candidates that I felt were eminently qualified, and then a third one that was making a good case there at the end," she said.
Polls close at 8 p.m.
Ross Dallas compiled this report.
This program aired on December 8, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.