BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) - With a too-close-to-call U.S. Senate and national presidential election on the line, state officials are making sure that voting goes smoothly on Tuesday without any partisan interruptions. Senator Scott Brown and his Democratic challenger Elizabeth Brown have flooded the news cycle with political attack ads throughout Massachusetts, but state officials are warning their campaigns to keep their messaging away from polling stations.
"We are particularly concerned about conduct in the election polling places,"said Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin. "We are going to enforce rigorously the requirement that campaigning stops ceases at 150 feet from the polling place. No effort to influence voters can be had inside that 150 feet."
Government watch groups like Common Cause will also be at polling stations, making sure that people aren't intimidated or frivolously challenged to deny their right to vote.
"We've seen inappropriate information being distributed to voters, for example, that you have to show photo identification before voting, that is not true," said Common Cause Executive Director Pam Wilmot.
Under federal law, everyone who shows up at a polling station gets a ballot. If your name is not listed at the polling station, you will be given a provision ballot that won't be counted until you can prove you're an eligible voter. State officials predict that up to 3.2 million people will come out to vote on Tuesday. Polls open at 7am and close at 8pm. Long lines are a concern, but anyone waiting in line before the cut off time will be allowed to stay and vote.
"Elections are about voters, not about candidates, not about campaigns, not about election officials, they're about the voters," said Secretary Galvin. "We want to make sure everyone understands that and that's the rule we're going to enforce."