Polling Place Turnout

I was absolutely surprised driving to my polling place this morning.  I was expecting a good turnout today but nothing like this.  I couldn’t even get close enough to see the school where I vote.  I was sitting in traffic for about 20 minutes and still had a few miles of bumper to bumper traffic to go.  I had to leave to go to work.  I have never had this happen before even with presidential elections.

I’ll be back at lunch to vote, but is this what other towns are seeing?

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46 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Wife reports a HUGE turnout at our voting place.

  2. Cohasset was up at 7:30

  3. yes

    I was #109 at my precinct in Lexington @ 7:35, which I've never seen before. Still brisk business when I dropped my child off at school an hour later.

    Galvin was on the radio this morning predicting a very high turnout based on the number of absentee requests.

  4. Northborough Precinct 4, high early turnout

    I was voter # 198 at 8:10 AM.

    On primary day, the count was 30-something at that time.

  5. Bad sign for Martha...

    even my pugs are voting RePUGlican!!!

  6. I'm in a fairly low turnout district

    And I was voter #12 or 13 at 7:15, there were a few people waiting with us for the place to open, and quite a number came in after us.

    We had a weird problem at our polling place, the printouts for checkout were wrong. The list was very short for our street, I don't know what happened, but luckily, a City Hall guy was there to handle it. They wound up taking people's names to check off later when they get the proper list, but while we were waiting for them to determine how to deal with the problem, the optical ballot machine jammed.

    Our little district wasn't doing so hot this morning, LOL. Mr. Lynne barely made his train...

  7. Was number twelve...

    ... at my polling place in Lowell around 7:10.  Slightly busy, but that's enormous because it's usually dead when it opens.  Should have been number 5 but they had a glitch in that the 'check out' list didn't match the 'check in' list, and I was on the latter but not the former.  They offered to let me leave my ballot and they would put it in the reader once they figured it out.  No thank you.  They finally decided to start a list that they use to go through the corrected book when they got it and I got my ballot into the scanner.

    • Turnout higher than town elections

      which are done each year in May.  Definitely lower than Nov 2008.  Seems to be about the same turnout as a Nov 2010 election, maybe a bit lower.

      Of course, if people think the weather is going to get worse as the day progresses, some people who often vote late in the day may have voted early -- so high counts early in the day may not extrapolate to high counts later in the day.

    • Hey hon


  8. Duxbury

    was there at 6:50 am with a big line before polls opened.  In the next 10 minutes many more arrivals so that the police officer doubled the line back into the Middle School so people wouldn't have to wait outside.  He jokingly said that there were more people in line at 7 am than voted in the last election in total.

    Once in, it obviously moves very quickly with only one race.  Think the thing that is going to complicate things in many towns is the movement to all elections being held in one location for all precincts (generally a school).  Given bad weather (which leads to more kids being dropped off, rather than taking the bus) today, the crush for parking is causing these backups, especially for those trying to vote when the schools are opening.

    Be patient and vote, no matter your candidate.

  9. some Brown voters are new ones... and not so good at reading

    my polling location is on a one way street.  Many people walk, although today it was closer to 50:50 due to the weather.

    I stood out from 7-8:45 am.  During that time, three autos drove the wrong way down the street, either to get to the entrance or upon leaving.  All three had Scott Brown stickers or signs in their windows.

    I live in a very liberal precinct, roughly 45:45:10 D:U:R.  Methinks that regular voters wouldn't drive the wrong way; they'd be familiar with that part of the neighborhood.  Extrapolate away.

  10. Might as well get used to it

    Pretty slow. No line @ 7:45am. Not much doing.

    This means??

  11. Brisk turnout in Westborough early

    There was a steady stream of voters, and my ward had a pretty good count (132) for between 7 and 8am.

  12. 7:35am

    In my precinct in Natick, at 7:35, I was voter number 82. There are roughly 2100 registered voters in each precinct, FWIW.

  13. Long line at my precinct in Cambridge before work.

    Drove by another Cambridge precinct on my way to do an errand and it looked busy as well.

  14. large turnout at precinct 8/2 in Waltham

    I heard a poll worker say that there were more people showing up than at the presidential election.

  15. My standout shift starts at 11:00 n/t

     It's snowing. I love being outside when it's snowing. For real. Must bring an umbrella. I don't want to look like a snowwoman.

  16. North Framingham - turnout heavy

    Unscientifically, it looked on par with a presidential election. Poll workers said it was very busy all morning. It was busier than I expected.

    Two people out holding signs for Coakley. Zero for Brown. My polling place covers 2 precincts, so we tend to get a lot of sign holders even in minor elections. Lack of Brown people surprised me.

  17. belmont, precinct 1

    not so brisk, no line at 8:50, couple of people.  Last November, line down the street at same time.  

  18. Boston 2-6

    Pretty steady stream of voters in Charlestown.  My wife and I were numbers 149 and 150 when we voted around 8:15.  That's much higher than most of the other special elections we've had in recent years, and about as high as the mayor's race.

    One or two Coakley volunteers outside and a few signs.  No Brown presence at all.  

  19. Stoneham...

    Very busy, but we have all precincts in the same building.

    Decent line at 7:05am.  People inside were saying it is a busier start than the Pres elections.

    No people outside for either candidate.

  20. Precinct 3 in Concord

    I was voter #419 (as another precinct votes at the same location, I don't know if this was for my precinct, or combined) at about 9:15.  

    But clearly turnout is high.  Despite the snow, the less mobile crowd seemed to be out in force.  I love gritty old New Englanders.

  21. Boston - South End

    Relatively heavy turnout this morning.  Noticably more women in line than usual.  

  22. Marlborough

    Seemingly heavy turnout at my district (and shared polling place district) this morning. I was number 220 at 10:00. Steady flow of people in and out.

    That said, Brown signs outnumbered Coakley significantly here. Very few people, for either candidate, out by the polling places though.

  23. Snow

    I'm not liking the look of this snow. It's starting to accumulate up here.

  24. Precinct 19 in Arlington has been heavy all morning

    This precinct is a bellweather, in my opinion.  48% of its voters voted in the primary in this special election.  This is also my home precinct, and I expect the turnout to beat that 48% by a good margin.  I have also done a standout there from 7:20 AM - 9:10 AM but am now at work [I cannot afford to take the whole day off, not only due to self employment but I am scheduled to be in court Weds, Thurs, and Friday and have workto do, calls to return, etc.]

  25. Falmouth

    The nice little old lady behind the table said she'd be very busy, hadn't even taken a break yet.  Couple women with a Coakley sign out front.  Distantly around the block a man with a bright orange hunting coat with a Brown sign.  Why so far away?  It was odd.  Based on that very anecodotal observation, that seems to sum up the demographics, and how the importance of Coakley being the first potential female senator from MA has been underplayed.

  26. Voter 49

    I was voter #49 at 7:40 in Framingham's 10th precinct. I think i was about #30 at 9:30 AM on primary day. I had to wait nearly 10 minutes to park and missed my carpool in Marlboro.

    Snow seems worse up here in Lowell, but might just be because it's later in the day.

  27. East Cambridge

    There was a line at 10:30.  The check in folks said turnout has been presidential election level heavy.

    Oddly, there was not one campaign sign out front.

  28. Newburyport--Ward 2

    Newburyport--Ward 2, the most liberal ward in the city.

    Voter turn-out high at 10:30AM when it's usually dead.  Busy all morning.  Full of voters that no one has seen before.  Mostly "older" men, often with their wives, clearly voting for Brown.  No a good sign for Martha.  And this is Newburyport!

    • why clearly voting for Brown?

      My 90 year old father-in-law just called for a ride to the polls. He's voting Martha.

    • I had a few of these pairs in my precinct...

      older, evidence of wealth, dominant man, new(ish) voters in my pct based on clear unfamiliarity with the polling location, hint of agitation, Brown bumper sticker/window sign.

      Of course, there's no way to know how the wife votes...

    • Whoa....not possible

      Newbruyport Ward 2 is as +D as Cambridge!  No way a high turnout is bad for Martha.  Of course you still have to factor in that Scott Brown's dad lives in Newburyport and has been active in community affairs for more than 40 years.  Still, he I'm sure he doesn't have many friends in Ward 2!!  The only exception is that the Sullivan Building (public housing for elderly) is in Ward 2.  The Brown campaign must have really worked it.  But still, a high turnout in this ward can only be good news.  Mary and I know they're a bunch of commie leftists!! (Elected me 4 times after all).

      • Newburyport-Ward 2

        I was shocked when I talked to the "folks" at Ward 2 in Newburyport. "Folks" who have been there for decades were extremely worried.  Like hyperventilating worrying.  They had never seen anything like this.  People that they had never seen vote before 50-89 year old bracket... for Brown!  Yikes!  The word was unless the "kids" vote, not good.  So if you know how to get out the "kids" in Newburyport (and probably anywhere else) go for it!

      • Bruce Brown-Scott Brown's father

        Bruce Brown, long time Newburyport City Councilor and good guy, who lives on Plum Island is Scott Brown's father.  

        So the unusual turn out at Ward 2 makes sense now.  Bruce Brown could very possibly "deliver" Newburyport for Brown, and an "easy" win for Martha, not so much.

  29. North Attleboro

    Heavy turnout in North Attleboro, a Brown-friendly town. The parking lot was twice as full as it was at the same time for the 2008 presidential election. Five or six enthusiastic Brown sign holders, and only one Coakley sign holder. But his sign was bigger ;)

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Sat 29 Nov 4:33 AM