BOSTON (AP/CBS) — Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin is predicting about three-quarters of voters will cast ballots in the election, matching the turnout in the 2008 election.
Galvin projects 3.1 million of the state’s roughly 4.2 million registered voters, about 73 percent, will go to the polls Tuesday.
“We have 4.2 million registered voters in the state,” says Galvin, “ and we’re looking at 3.2 casting ballots. “
Galvin said the tightness of the presidential race and the contest for the state’s U.S. Senate seat will drive turnout, and compensate for any lack of the “euphoria” that marked the 2008 vote.
President Obama is expected to easily carry Massachusetts over former Gov. Mitt Romney.
But Galvin says voters want to their say on the presidential vote, regardless of who’s expected to win.
Galvin is focused on keeping lines moving, but noted anyone in line by polls’ close at 8 p.m. can still vote.
In 1960, when JFK squared off against Richard Nixon, almost 92% of the state’s electorate cast ballots, that’s the state’s high water mark.
Galvin is asking that campaign volunteers obey the rules at polling stations.
“No one is to get within 150 feet of the voting place, we don’t want any interference with voters,” he says.
“Observers can observe, but if they interfere, they will be expelled.”
And Secretary Galvin also warned voters to make it to the polls by closing time at 8 p.m.
“Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“If there is a line at 8, everyone in the line will be allowed to vote. But if you arrive after 8, you cannot vote,”he said.
WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields contributed to this report.
(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)