NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 6, 2012

Down to the wire

Voters, candidates ready for historic election

(Continued)

Proof of residency, age and a picture ID are required to register today at the polls. Due to the new state law, all voters are reminded to bring a picture ID to the polls to expedite the voting procedure due to the new state law.

Massachusetts

With heavy turnout and a lot riding on the outcomes for candidates who have spent months locked in tight contests, Galvin said his office had concerns about long lines at the polls and said any effort by campaigns to interfere with privacy rights of voters would “not be tolerated.”

During a press conference at the Statehouse, Galvin said 284,789 voters had requested absentee ballots this election, an increase of about 25,000 from 2008, while the number of active voters had declined by about 40,000 people.

Galvin attributed the changes to less voter registration intensity than in 2008, but greater interest in absentee voting due to publicity in other states about early voting. Massachusetts does not allow early voting, which Galvin described as “absentee voting without the excuses.”

One of Galvin’s main concerns for election day is lines and the potential that voting delays will occur when inactive voters — those who may be registered and eligible but have not voted recently or responded to census surveys — turn out and need to show identification and fill out affidavits attesting to their eligibility. He has advised clerks to form two lines for active and inactive voters, but stressed that everyone who shows up to a polling place before 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote even if voting goes past that hour.

“Because of the intensity of this election, especially the U.S. Senate race here in Massachusetts, and the active interest of the campaign organizations, which has been demonstrated to our citizens very thoroughly over the last few weeks, we are particularly concerned about conduct in the polling places,” Galvin said.

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