Secretary of State’s Predictions for Election Day in MA

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin is projecting that as many as 3.2 million residents could head to the polls on Election Day, given the intense interest in the presidential and US Senate races.  Out of a pool of 4-point-3 million eligible voters this year, Galvin predicts  between 71.4 and 73.7 percent of registered voters. One of Galvin’s main concerns for election-day is long lines and the potential that voting delays could occur when inactive voters turn out.

“Inactive voters, under federal law, we are required to retain on the voting list persons who were registered who have not voted in several federal elections, who have not responded to annual local census requests. They are still carried on the voters list for a period of time. They are eligible to vote, their eligibility, however, is conditioned upon the fact that they have to execute and affidavit of continuous residence and show ID. The concern is this, since their voting process is more complicated than the active voters’. they could well slow down the voting process.”

As a remedy, Galvin has advised clerks to form two lines one for active and one for inactive voters. The secretary of state vowed to quote “enforce rigorously” the prohibition on campaigning within 150 feet of polling locations, and said poll observers from campaigns and interest groups would be monitored to prevent interference with the voting process. Galvin said voters could visit to find their polling location with directions and a preview of their local ballot, and his office will have a toll-free hotline to report voting problems.