BOSTON (AP) — Unusually warm weather is expected to greet Massachusetts voters as they trek to local polling locations in the state's presidential primaries.
There are two hopefuls with Massachusetts ties in the contests.
On the Democratic ballot Sen. Elizabeth Warren is hoping for a strong home state showing against fellow candidates including Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg. Former Republican Massachusetts Gov. William Weld is mounting a long-shot bid against President Donald Trump.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday and remain open until 8 p.m.
Voters registered as Democrats or Republicans must pull their party's ballots. Voters not enrolled in any party — the majority of Massachusetts voters — can pull any party ballot.
Nearly 230,000 voters took advantage of early voting last week, the first time the state has allowed early voting in a presidential primary.
Democratic Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin said Monday that nearly another 70,000 submitted absentee ballots.
Of the 230,000 early votes cast during the five-day period, about 190,000 were in the Democratic primary.
Galvin predicted a healthy turnout Tuesday, saying he expected as many as 1.5 million votes to be be cast in the Democratic presidential primary, given how uncertain the race remains. That would be a record turnout.
He also estimated a Republican turnout in the range of 350,000.
Since absentee ballots have technically not been cast, Galvin said, voters who had a change of heart — or whose candidate may have pulled out of the race — have the option of showing up at their polling location early Tuesday to try to retrieve their absentee ballot before it is formally cast and ask for a new ballot.
Those who took advantage of early voting cannot change their ballot.
There are a handful of special legislative elections and some local ballot questions to be decided Tuesday.
Galvin said he is confident the state will be insulated from any attempts to interfere with voting. He pointed out Massachusetts uses paper ballots.
Galvin said he has suggested local voting officials have a pool of backup poll workers just in case fears of the new COVID-19 virus keep some workers from the pools.
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