Springfield election officials expect big turnout - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield election officials expect big turnout

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Presidential elections historically bring out many more voters and on the eve of Election Day, poll workers prepared at Springfield's election office.

"They want to vote, everyone wants to vote this year, which is great... whatever it is they're voting for, whatever interests them, that's what we want to see," said Gladys Oyola, Springfield's election commissioner.

Springfield's polling locations are expected to see a lot of action Tuesday; 94,000 voters are registered, compared with 84,000 in 2008 during the last presidential election.

"I think it's a mixed interest in a very hot presidential race and we're in Massachusetts so that addition of the Warren Brown race has kind of just made the perfect storm, everybody's interested, everybody's engaged," Oyola said.

They're so engaged that election officials are predicting a 60 percent voter turnout. A non-presidential election usually only sees around 10 percent.

Some of the action has already started. About 2,500 people applied for absentee ballots and early voting was from 9 to noon at the election office Monday, where people were waiting in line before the doors even opened.

"I've never seen it personally be that high," Oyola said.

At polling locations it was a race against time Monday night, as poll workers got ready.

"We set up the voting tables, we set up the actual tabulator and the ballot boxes," said Gilberto Molina, Springfield's bilingual election program coordinator.

Workers at the 64 precincts in Springfield are prepared for the turnout increase.

"We've doubled up the amount of voting tables and other election supplies to account for the expected volume," Molina said.

Voters are equally as prepared to make sure their votes count.

"I want to make sure the nation's going in the right direction," said Bernard Carter, Springfield.

"Everybody's vote is important and we've got to do our share," said Janet of Sheffield, MA who did not wish to use her last name.

"This is going to be a really close race so I think my vote will make a difference," said Katie Jones of Holyoke.

Polling locations are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, but if you have questions about where you're supposed to be voting, the election office opens at 5 a.m.

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