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Campaigns Work To Turn Out Voters In Massachusetts


The time for persuading people with stump speeches, debate performances and TV ads is over. Campaigns in Massachusetts are working today to motivate people to go out and vote.

       Democratic candidate for Massachusetts governor Martha Coakley spent Election Day in the state’s three largest cities, where she needs a heavy voter turnout if she is to win a tight race with Republican Charlie Baker.

       After voting in her hometown of Medford Tuesday morning, Coakley came to Springfield, where she was greeted by enthusiastic supporters at the local Democratic campaign office.

   " If you give me every minute you can until the polls close we are going to win," she declared as supporters cheered.

     From the beginning, Coakley’s campaign has counted on the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s battle-tested get-out-the-vote operation to put her over the top.

       Coakley was cheered by campaign volunteers, union activists, and several elected officials including Democratic Congressman Richard Neal of Springfield, who is running unopposed for a 13th term.

    " I've been in a lot of campaigns and I can say with confidence and certainty, Martha Coakley ran a great campaign," said Neal

      Ross Kiely, business agent for United Food and Commercial Workers union local 1459, said union members are actively supporting Coakley and other Democrats.

      The Baker campaign does not have much of a visible presence in Springfield. Businessman and philanthropist Evan Plotkin, a Baker supporter, insisted there is a lot of enthusiasm for Baker in Springfield.

    " I think he is going to win because he has the message and leadership skills. I'm talking to a lot of people who are supporting him and  a lot of them are Democrats."

Credit WAMC
Casino supporters rally in downtown Springfield on Election Day

       Opponents of a referendum question on the Massachusetts ballot to repeal the state’s casino gambling law also worked hard Tuesday to motivate people to go vote.

            At a busy intersection in downtown Springfield, dozens of people held signs urging a “no” vote on Question 3, and then went to work at a campaign phone bank.

       The outcome of Question 3 is particularly important in Springfield, where MGM is proposing to build an $800 million resort casino.  The project has the support of the city’s political and business leadership and has been promised a license by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission if Question 3 is defeated.

       A casino industry and union-backed political group spent $12 million on the campaign against Question 3.  A blitz of TV ads emphasized the thousands of jobs that would result from casinos in Springfield, greater Boston, and Southeastern Massachusetts.

       MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis said the message is resonating with voters.

       "We not only want to win, but we want to win big."

          Al Cabot, the coordinator for the western Massachusetts campaign to repeal the casino law is counting on a grassroots-fueled upset.

        "We've been contacting voters one at a time, and that voter has talked to the next person through social meeting, church groups, social gatherings right on down the line," said Cabot. " That is how we've gotten our message out."

         Cabot darted from polling place to polling place in Springfield to hold signs urging a “yes” vote on Question 3.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.
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