Local and state election officials said they have seen no signs of a high interest in the special election race and they are expecting a low voter turnout.Galvin is basing that estimate on absentee ballot requests, just 64,000 as of Monday morning, down from 106,000 in the 2010 Coakley/Brown special election. That's where any glimmer of hope Republican Gabriel Gomez might have. But this time, Democrats say, they won't be caught of guard like they were in 2010.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he fears the turnout could hit an all-time low.
He believes about 39 percent of voters will cast ballots in the race between U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Malden, and Republican Gabriel Gomez of Cohasset. Galvin said that would be a record low in modern times for a U.S. Senate race.
John Walsh, chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, says the turnout machine has been working overtime, buoyed by the high-profile appearances which generated excitement in the race.If you're in Massachusetts and have got a few hours today, you can help (after you vote!). If you need to find your polling place, you can do that here. If you need a ride, or can offer rides, to the polls call (800) 688-0265. If you see problems at the polls, the voter suppression hotline number is (800) 895-4489.
"We've spent a lot of time knocking on doors and talking to people over the last couple of months and we know the folks who are with us," he says.
Done voting? Not a Massachusetts voter but have cell phone minutes to burn? Help GOTV. Get in touch with the Markey campaign or call them at (617) 286-4147. The Massachusetts Democratic Party, (617) 939-0800, is also working on GOTV.
9:43 AM PT: By the way, today's Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act makes keeping the Senate's Democratic majority as large as possible pretty damned important. GOTV for Markey.