Record-High Turnout Expected On Election Day

By Sarah Birnbaum

Nov. 2, 2010

BOSTON -- Massachusetts officials are expecting more voters to turn out on Tuesday's Election Day than in any other gubernatorial election in the past 20 years.   

Mass. Secretary of State William Galvin reported a near-record-setting 132,000 absentee ballot requests.  He said that’s an indication that voter turnout will be especially high.
“I’m projecting a turnout exceeding 2.4 million registered voters, which would be a high number compared to past gubernatorial elections," Galvin said, explaining that the standard turnout for a gubernatorial election is about 2.2 million voters.

"The last time we reached 2.4 million was in 1990, twenty years ago," Galvin said.
Galvin said the number of tight races are fueling voter enthusiasm. Just forstarters, there's the neck-and-neck the race for Governor, the 10th District contest between Rebublican Jeff Perry and Democrat Bill Keating and Rep. Barney Frank's surprisingly close race for re-election in the 4th District, are fueling enthusiasm.
“The intense interest in these elections, the amount of money that’s been expended, as well as the individual activity that’s going on certainly contributes to reinforcing reasons why people would participate in this election,” Galvin said.

But just who turns out tomorrow will determine the outcome of the race. The candidates used their last day on the campaign trail to try to tip that balance in their favor.
Governor Patrick has been trying to rally the Democratic base.  He’s been campaigning in urban areas and traditional Democratic strongholds like Cambridge, New Bedford and Fall River. Charlie Baker is appealing to Independents.  He’s been focusing on the suburbs, and places like Upper Cape Cod and the South Shore -- areas that went in heavily for Senator Scott Brown in January’s special election. 
Democrats in this state outnumber Republicans three-to-one.  But Independent voters make up just over half of the electorate. 
Galvin also said that the midterm elections here and across the country have been nationalized.  Both the GOP and the White House are casting the races for Congress and Governor as referendums on Barack Obama and on national issues like healthcare reform and the economic stimulus. 

Galvin says that Massachusetts voters are aware of the national implications of their vote, much the way they would be in a presidential election.
The polls are open Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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