Voters Today to Choose Between Markey and Kennedy; Many Have Already Cast Ballots

Secretary of State William Galvin, who plans to vote in-person Tuesday in Brighton, said election officials have gone to “extraordinary lengths” to make sure voters can visit their polling places without risking their health. (Photograph by Sam Doran/SHNS.)

Voters today decide whether Edward J. Markey remains one of the state’s senators or should be replaced by Joseph P. Kennedy III.

An Emerson College/WHDH poll finds Markey leading with 56% support and Kennedy behind at 44%. Markey’s base is registered Democratic voters, where he leads 61% to 39%. Independents slightly favor Markey, 51% to 49%. Another base for Markey is younger voters, particularly those 18-29, who break for Markey 70% to 30%.

It is the only contested race on Democratic Party ballots in Haverhill. Thanks to early voting and vote-by-mail, thousands of Haverhill residents made their choice ahead of today’s voting. As of early Monday afternoon, 5,000 people had taken advantage of the opportunity to vote by mail in Haverhill. The city continues to receive ballots at its two drop boxes—one behind City Hall and the other in the outer lobby of the Haverhill Police Station—until 8 p.m. Haverhill City Clerk Linda L. Koutoulas said voter participation exceeded her expectations.

“I had no idea. I knew it would be good, but this is a pretty large volume for us. It is far more than we expected,” she said.

She said about 9,000 ballots were mailed to residents who had requested them. Kououlas noted the drop box behind City Hall, however, must be emptied every hour and a half or two hours because of the volume. Early, in-person voting attracted no more than 500 people this year, she added.

Koutoulas said early voting largely eclipsed absentee ballots last year, but also frustrated some people.

“It was originally just for state elections—not for primaries. But, this past March, they expanded it to primaries which was sort of a positive/negative thing because a lot of people cast their ballots for candidates who subsequently dropped out of the races which caused a lot of consternation with certain voters.”

Uncontested Democratic incumbents this primary year include 3rd District Congresswoman Lori Trahan; 5th District Governor’s Councilor Eileen R. Duff; 1st Essex state Sen. Diana DiZoglio; Reps. Linda Dean Campbell, Andy X. Vargas and Christina A. Minicucci; and Register of Probate Pamela Casey O’Brien.

Christina Eckert is also uncontested in her bid for the Democratic nomination to challenge Mirra.

On the Republican ballot, state Rep. Leonard Mirra is uncontested, and candidates for U.S. Senate, Shiva Ayyadurai and Kevin J. O’Connor, face off for the party’s nomination to challenge the Democrat in the fall.

Polls remain open until 8 p.m. Voters who wish to know whether their mailed ballot has already been counted may visit Secretary of State William F. Galvin said any voter who already mailed a ballot that has not yet reached their local election office may still vote in person. Voters who arrive at their polling place with a Vote by Mail ballot will also be directed to either bring the ballot to be checked-in or to spoil the Vote by Mail ballot and cast an in-person ballot.

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