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Massachusetts voters are expected to turn out and vote in tremendous numbers today, responding to the intensely competitive presidential primaries that brought the major candidates from both parties to the state in recent days, local and state elections officials said.
Secretary of State William F. Galvin predicted that more than a million voters, more than 30 percent of the state’s 4 million voters, will show up at the polls, drawn largely by the excitement spilling out of this year’s elections.
ATLANTA –A Democratic presidential primary with especially intense interest among blacks and a Republican race that could attract a wealth of independents to the polls have some Georgia political experts forecasting record turnout here Tuesday.
Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and long lines were commonplace in many areas. At a church in Fulton County, more than 50 people had lined up to vote before the doors opened and a poll worker there said she had never seen so many lined up so early. In Marietta, a line of voters stretched to back of a middle school auditorium.
Election officials in the St. Louis area are expecting many more voters to go to the polls tomorrow than for the presidential primary four years ago.
In St. Louis County, turnout could be as high as 40-percent of registered voters. In 2004, 20-percent of county voters showed up. John Diehl, the chairman of the county’s board of election commissioners, says absentee voting is a good indicator of what to expect.
“We expect total absentee for this election to be around 12,000. The past two presidential preference primaries which we’ve had here in St. Louis County have had absentee ballots of about 5,000. So, we’re seeing a slightly more than doubling of what we typically see.”
In the city of St. Louis, election officials say they expect turnout of 35-to-40-percent. That would be about twice the number that voted in 2004’s primary.
The forecast for most of Tennessee features scattered showers and possibly record high temperatures in the low 70s.
But election officials said they will be watching a storm system expected to bring damaging winds, hail and the threat of tornadoes starting by 3 p.m. Tuesday in West Tennessee and later in Middle Tennessee.
The turnout in early voting reached 320,939 of the state’s 3.3 million voters, and Tennessee could beat the turnout of 830,000 in the 1988 Democratic presidential primary when Al Gore ran.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – State election board secretary Mike Clingman says a record turnout is possible for both the Republican and Democratic parties in tomorrow’s presidential primaries.
Clingman says county election boards are getting a lot of absentee ballot requests and that’s usually a good sign of high interest and a big turnout.
Connecticut election officials expected a record voter turnout for the state’s presidential primary…
Turnout was steady at a polling place in Milford, Conn., where psychology professor Tony Lemieux, 32, said he watched all of the Democratic debates before ultimately settling on Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton…
Self-employed graphic designer Bob Tyrrell, 50, was another Giuliani supporter who voted for Romney, saying that Arizona Sen. John McCain leans toward big government.
Though he is a Republican, he said that if he woke up the day after Election Day and Obama was president, he wouldn’t have any regrets, “but Hillary, I might just throw up. Hillary has socialist impulses and that would be a disaster to a big, rich country like ours.”
Predicting voter turn-out isn’t always easy, especially now when you have to consider everything from absentee voting to the weather.
Limestone Probate Judge Mike Davis says there’s really no way to give an accurate prediction about voter turnout.
“Generally the litmus test is absentee voting, and this year absentee voting from the last general election was down about a half. In the past we would say it would be about half a turnout.”
But this is a year of firsts, the first February presidential preference election.
“Voter registration has increased at a greater rate than normal, which could be an indicator that a turnout could be heavier than what we expect.”
That increase in registration, Davis says, means more people are interested in this election and the candidates.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The co-chairman of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign in Kansas predicted Monday that she wouldn’t win its Democratic caucuses because of the resources put into the state by rival candidate Barack Obama.
Dan Lykins, a Topeka attorney and state Democratic Party treasurer, made his comments after Gov. Kathleen Sebelius campaigned for Obama at gatherings on three college campuses. Sebelius endorsed Obama last week and appeared in a television ad in the Wichita market…
About 1,300 people participated in caucuses in 2004, but they weren’t held until mid-March, when the Democratic race had been decided. Chairman Larry Gates said the party expects at least 10,000 people to participate this year.
BOISE — State Democratic Party officials can barely contain their glee over what they predict will be record turnout at today’s statewide Democratic caucuses.
The big question is whether there will be enough room for everybody.
“We frankly don’t know what to expect except that it is clear that we will have more people participating in caucuses this year than we have ever had in the state of Idaho,” said state Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark. “It truly is a phenomenon that we’re witnessing right now. People have never been as excited to participate in the Democratic caucuses in 30 years as they have been right now.”
DENVER – Democrats and Republicans often have different takes on any given issue. However, on the eve of Super Tuesday, workers at the local headquarters of the respective parties were busy doing the same thing: answering phones.
“A lot of phone calls, a lot of e-mails, a lot of folks have never attended a precinct caucus,” said Dick Wadhams, the head of Colorado’s Republican Party.
“We actually put in nine new phone lines, there’s not a line that’s free,” said Pat Waak, the head of Colorado’s Democratic Party.
A higher-than-normal voter turnout is expected in today’s Arizona primaries.
Political consultant Stan Barnes said that’s because nothing’s been settled.
“Normally, one of the two parties has got its guy ready to go, either he’s the vice president or it’s just his turn. This year, it’s wide open,” Barnes said.
Arizona State University pollster Bruce Merrill said turnout “could go as high as 44, 45 percent, which would be unusually high.”
Barnes said younger voters are expected to hit the polls in large numbers, mostly because of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama’s run for the Democratic nomination.
“The Senator Obama phenomenon is real demographically, and there is a buzz that’s different among the college-age crowd,” he said.
A record number of California voters is expected to cast ballots in today’s presidential primary, fueled by excitement over tight and highly anticipated races on both the Democratic and Republican sides.
But the deluge of voters might also mean a record wait to find out who won the largest of two dozen states choosing candidates for president today as well as the fate of some state and local measures, including Indian casinos, legislative term limits and local school funding.
California’s record turnout for a primary election – 7.9 million in 2000 – will be shattered if 8.9 million voters cast ballots today as expected. And the 56.6 percent turnout of registered voters predicted in a new Field Poll would be the highest since the 63.3 percent turnout in 1980, when Ronald Reagan defeated George H.W. Bush for the GOP nomination and Sen. Edward Kennedy challenged incumbent President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nod.