BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin on Monday predicted about three-quarters of voters will cast ballots in the election, matching 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.
Galvin said this election is completely different from 2008, including what looks to be a tighter national presidential race and a hotly contested U.S. Senate seat, with Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown trying to hold off Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.
The closeness of both races is boosting voter interest and compensating for any lack of the "euphoria" that marked the 2008 vote, when Barack Obama became the first black man elected president, Galvin said. But he said as closely-watched as the Brown-Warren race is, the presidential election is still the main driver of turnout, even though Obama is expected to easily beat former Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.
"There's something unique about voting for president, that's a unique citizen experience," Galvin said. "(Voters) want to say they voted for that particular person, even if he's not going to win their particular state."
With heavy turnout expected, Galvin said the state is focused on keeping lines moving. He encouraged voters to visit his office's website so they can become familiar with the ballot and have their choices ready before they arrive at polling places. Galvin noted that anyone in line by the time the polls close at 8 p.m. will still be allowed to vote.
Online: Massachusetts Secretary of State: www.sec.state.ma.us