‘Semi-Steadily Busy’ Turnout In Westfield For Special Mass. House Election

There’s been slow – but not glacial – turnout on Tuesday for the special Massachusetts House election in Westfield.

Voters are choosing between Republican Dan Allie and Democrat John Velis. They’re hoping to serve out the final months of a term begun by Don Humason, who won a special election in November for state Senate.

“No lines, but we’ve been semi-steadily busy. It’s not like a presidential election, but…we did not have our nap time today because we had too many voters come in,” laughs Helen Mahler, a polling place warden.

Mahler’s polling place is at Franklin Avenue School, in a gymnasium that doubles as a cafeteria. On the opposite side of a divider, the kids ate lunch.

“Fortunately, it’s a nice day. They can come out and play. Otherwise there’s inside recess and that gets to be spirited, too,” Mahler says.

Mahler predicts about 10 percent of voters will show up in her polling place by the end of the day. City-wide, Westfield’s clerk predicted turnout in the 15-to-20 percent range.

This is one of a half-dozen special elections for the state legislature taking place Tuesday around Massachusetts.

New England Public Radio’s Henry Epp and Sam Hudzik contributed.

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