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Massachusetts elections chief predicts 'reasonably good turnout' on Super Tuesday

A polling place in Hadley, Massachusetts, on Nov. 8, 2022.
Jill Kaufman
A polling place in Hadley, Massachusetts, on Nov. 8, 2022.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that restored former President Donald Trump's name to the Colorado ballot makes it "all the more important" for voters to express their opinions in presidential primaries, Massachusetts' elections chief said.

Citing "significant" early voting numbers, Secretary William Galvin said his prognostication for "a reasonably good turnout" in the Massachusetts primaries could be "enhanced a little more" by the court's ruling on Monday morning.

More than 50,000 Massachusetts residents have cast ballots in person, and more than 400,000 by mail in advance of Super Tuesday.

Galvin said he expected to see more than 600,000 Democratic primary ballots cast by the end of the day Tuesday, and said the GOP will "surely exceed 400,000 tomorrow."

"This morning's decision makes it all the more important that those voters who have opinions on the presidency take the opportunity to express them, because clearly what the court said today was that they will not do anything to decide the outcome of the presidential election. They've left it up to the voters and ultimately to Congress on the issue of the enforcement of the 14th Amendment," Galvin said.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Voters in many western Massachusetts communities have taken advantage of early voting options. According to figures released by Galvin’s office Monday morning, Belchertown had already seen 15.9% turnout, Hatfield 15.3% and Easthampton 14.4%.

In Amherst, that number was 13.8% , with the vast majority voting by mail.

"I think the trend has definitely changed from in-person to mail-in, there's no doubt about it based on the numbers," Town Clerk Susan Audette said. "The presidential election in the fall, in November, that may completely change what I just said. You just don't know."

Audette said she doesn't believe a rainy forecast for primary day will keep voters from showing up to the polls in person.

"If it's important enough, they'll come out," she said. "At least it's not snow or a blizzard. Rain's nothing. We can handle that."

Not all western Massachusetts communities have seen as significant of a turnout. Only 3.8% of registered voters in Springfield cast their ballots as of Monday, among the lowest percentages in the state. Holyoke was at 5.8%.

This report contains information from NEPM's Adam Frenier.

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