9:30 a.m. | Secretary of State William Galvin casts his ballot at the Thomas A. Edison Middle School in Brighton.
7 p.m. | Geoff Diehl and Leah Allen, the Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, gather with supporters and other GOP candidates for an election night party at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
7 p.m. | A coalition of business and advocacy groups opposed to Question 1 gather at the Westin Copley Place to await results of the election.
7 p.m. | Supporters of Question 2 hold an election night event at the Westin Copley Place hotel.
8 p.m. | Democratic candidates for statewide office, including gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey and her running mate Kim Driscoll, host a party at the Fairmont Copley Plaza where they will speak to supports after the polls close. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, Assistant U.S. House Speaker Katherine Clark, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley, and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu are among the guests expected to attend.
8 p.m. | Supporters of Question 1 and Question 4 hold a joint election night event at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston.
Election Day dawned under a Blood Moon, but don’t let the lunar eclipse spook you. It’s time to get out and vote. Polls are open and won’t close until 8 p.m. Mail-in ballots postmarked today also have until Saturday to arrive and still be counted.
Secretary of State William Galvin predicted Monday that a general lack of enthusiasm could hold turnout this year to about 45 percent, which would be the lowest in decades and below even the lackluster gubernatorial contest of 2018 when Gov. Charlie Baker cruised to reelection.
Of course, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was also on the ballot that year running against a familiar foe – this year’s GOP nominee for governor Geoff Diehl.
Diehl will need every vote he can muster today to make his race against Democrat Maura Healey competitive. The early vote so far appears to be favoring Democrats, though many Republicans and conservative independents have shown a preference in past cycles for the old-fashioned in-person voting process on Election Day.
Galvin’s office reported that as of 4 p.m. on Monday 1,027,634 ballots had been cast early, including 839,465 by mail. If Galvin’s prediction of 2.2 million votes holds, the general election early vote will fall short of the primaries when more than half of voters cast ballots before election day.
Democratic voters represent 37.3 percent of the early vote so far, outperforming their registration advantage over Republicans. Democrats account for 29.5 percent of the total electorate, while registered Republicans represent 8.9 percent. Only 7 percent of the early vote so far is from Republicans.
But as everyone already knows, unenrolled voters in Massachusetts are the X factor. They make up 61.6 percent of the electorate and 55.6 percent of the early vote. Galvin believes that the four questions on the ballot – and not the rather uncompetitive races for statewide office – will be what drives voters to the polls today, as will some competitive down-ballot contests for legislative seats in pockets of the state.
Healey will spend her final day as a candidate in Greater Boston, planning to join Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, Sen. Pat Jehlen, Rep. Christine Barber, and the Somerville Public Library West Branch polling location around 12:20 p.m. before heading to Sen. Lydia Edward’s traditional election day lunch at Santarpio’s in East Boston.
The Democrats plan an Election Night celebration at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.
Diehl has a number of stops planned through the southeast part of the state, but he will be at the Boston Harbor Hotel to watch the polls close and the results come in with others on the GOP ticket.
— A peak down ballot finds some competition
Sure, everyone will be waiting to see who the next governor of Massachusetts will be, whether Republican Anthony Amore can make the race for auditor close and if millionaires will be paying more in taxes. But there’s a lot more on today’s ballot. State House News Service’s Chris Lisinski has an election preview that spotlights some of the legislative contests where Democrats could possibly build on their supermajority in the House, and the few locales where the GOP may be able to find some success.
— More than hot air, the future of wind power is in a tailspin
A fascinating struggle has been playing out over the viability of some of the state’s endlessly-hyped offshore wind projects, putting the near-term future of the industry up in the air. Vineyard Wind, slated to become the state’s first large-scale commercial wind development, is on track, but the turmoil started when Avangrid Renewables told the state that its 1,200 megawatt Commonwealth Wind project is “no longer viable” due to the impacts of inflation on global supply chains and other factors. Gov. Charlie Baker said he did not want to reopen the procurement process, but would be OK if the various sides could renegotiate the terms of their power contracts. CommonWealth Magazine’s Bruce Mohl spoke with Avangrid’s Ken Kimmell, who said only a “very modest” price increase would be needed to put the project back on track, but the utilities said they weren’t interested in renegotiating contracts and the Department of Public Utilities denied the request to pause it’s review of the contract. State House News’s Colin A. Young reports that the DPU gave Commonwealth Wind and Mayflower Wind until Wednesday to tell the state if they could make it work, and Mayflower responded quickly saying they would, even though they agree with the concerns raised by the other project.
— Rollins being investigated on multiple fronts by DOJ watchdog
U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins has come under investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general over her attendance at a DNC fundraiser with First Lady Jill Biden in Andover in July, the Associated Press reports. Citing sources, the AP’s Alanna Durkin Richer and Michael Balsamo report that investigators are also looking at her use of a personal cell phone for official business and a trip Rollins took to California in June paid for by Creative Artists Agency to speak at an annual conference of entertainment, business and political figures run by the talent agency. It had previously been reported that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel was looking into Rollins’s attendance at the Biden fundraiser for possible Hatch Act violations, and the Justice Department subsequently changed its rules for officals regarding political activity.
— Sandwiches and speeches. On the trial on the final day
WBUR’s Anthony Brooks and Walter Wuthmann caught up with Democrat Maura Healey and Republican Geoff Diehl as the candidates for governor made their final appeals to voters on Monday. With Healey looking to close out a race she has been leading since she jumped in on damp day in January, Diehl said he sees an opening to pull out the upset in what is shaping up to be a low-turnout, low-enthusiasm election. As Brooks also reports, those dynamics have also sent some Massachusetts figures north to New Hampshire where Democrats are battling to hold on to a seat that could help determine control of the U.S. Senate.
— Pharmacy closures raise concerns over Rx access
Walgreens intends to close three stores in Boston’s Roxbury, Mattapan and Hyde Park neighborhoods, raising concerns about access to prescriptions and other necessities in those communities. The Globe’s Dana Gerber has the details and the reaction.
— Martha’s Vineyard referendum backers a mystery
As Vineyard Haven voters prepare to decide on a local referendum on whether to allow alcohol to be served without food service, local officials say they have no idea who is behind a local signage campaign urging a yes vote. The Martha’s Vineyard Times’ Rich Saltzberg reports the town clerk is among those trying to find the source of the signs – and the funds behind them – to inform them they may be required to register with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
— Fall River’s Coogan says he’ll seek third term
There’s always someone one election ahead. Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan tells Jo C. Goode of the Herald News that he will seek a third term next November, citing the need to see through the spending of $87 million worth of APRA funds and continuing to repair relations between the mayor’s office and the city council.
— Safety first: Cambridge takes first step to ban right turns on red
Cambridge may join a growing number of cities across the country banning right turns on red lights in a bid to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The Harvard Crimson’s Elias Schisgall reports the council on Monday night directed City Manager Yi-An Huang to explore a ban similar to those in place or on the way in Washington, D.C. and New York City.