BOSTON (AP) — Here are some of the highlights for Tuesday’s elections:
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, and Secretary of State William Galvin is predicting nearly 2.3 million Massachusetts voters will cast ballots. That would be close to the number who voted in 2006, the last time there was an open race for governor.
Galvin urged votes to read the questions and the one-sentence summary carefully before casting a ballot. A “yes” vote on Question 3, for example, is a vote against casino gambling in Massachusetts.
There are about 4.3 million registered voters in the state, including inactive voters.
THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR
Republican Charlie Baker, the former head of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Democrat Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, have waged a hard-fought and expensive race to succeed Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick, who opted not to seek a third term.
For both candidates, the race has been partly about personal political redemption.
In 2010, Coakley was heavily favored to win the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of longtime Democratic icon Edward Kennedy. But she squandered a hefty lead in the polls before losing to Republican Scott Brown, then a little-known state senator.
Baker was also the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee in 2010, losing to Patrick.
The Republican has struck a moderate tone, hoping to broaden his appeal among independents who make up the majority of the state’s registered voters.
Coakley has pledged to continue state investments in education and infrastructure and has sought to reassure voters that she won’t raise taxes unless absolutely necessary.
The Democrat has accused Baker of outsourcing jobs while running Harvard Pilgrim and in recent days has questioned the authenticity of a tearful story the Republican told of a struggling New Bedford fisherman during a televised debate.
Baker has suggested that Coakley, as attorney general, shied away from investigating a former Democratic House speaker who was later convicted in federal court. He has also faulted Coakley for not settling a lawsuit brought against the state’s foster care system.
Three independents, Evan Falchuk, Scott Lively and Jeff McCormick, are also on the ballot for governor.
OTHER STATEWIDE CANDIDATES
The race for governor also created vacancies in two other state offices.
Democrat Maura Healey, a former assistant attorney general, is vying against Republican attorney John Miller to succeed Coakley as attorney general.
Democrat Deb Goldberg, Republican Mike Heffernan and Green-Rainbow Party candidate Ian Jackson are hoping to succeed state Treasurer Steven Grossman, who lost to Coakley in the Democratic primary for governor.
Galvin, the five-term Democratic secretary of state, is being challenged by Republican David D’Arcangelo and Daniel Factor of the Green-Rainbow Party.
Democratic state Auditor Suzanne Bump, seeking a second term, faces Republican Patricia Saint Aubin and Green Rainbow member MK Merelice.
A low-key U.S. Senate race pits Democratic incumbent Edward Markey against Republican Brian Herr, a former Hopkinton selectman. Markey won a special election last year after John Kerry left the Senate to become U.S. secretary of state, and he is now seeking a full six-year term.
Republicans trying to crack the state’s all-Democratic congressional delegation have focused attention on the 6th District north of Boston. Republican Richard Tisei, who narrowly lost to U.S. Rep. John Tierney in 2012, is making another bid for the seat, but this time around is facing Democrat Seth Moulton, an Iraq war veteran who upset Tierney in the Democratic primary.
The race has attracted national attention, with more than $4.1 million spent by outside groups on both sides, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Four questions face Massachusetts voters, including one that seeks repeal of the state’s 2011 casino gambling law. Passage would bring to a halt projects that are approved or already under construction in Springfield, Everett and Plainville. A committee financed largely by casino companies raised nearly $12 million for a campaign to defeat the referendum, dwarfing the $674,000 raised by the group Repeal the Casino Deal, according to filings with the state office of Campaign and Political Finance.
Voters were also weighing proposals that would expand the state’s bottle deposit law to include plastic water bottles, sports drinks and other noncarbonated beverages; require mandatory paid sick time for most Massachusetts workers; and repeal a law that ties future increases in the state’s gasoline tax to inflation.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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