"It's not super busy...but pretty steady. It's not totally quiet like in the March [presidential] primary," said Peabody City Clerk Tim Spanos Thursday afternoon, commenting on the voter turnout so far in the .
Spanos said each of the city's 19 precincts saw 80-125 voters on average by about noon time, which is 6-7 percent of registered voters. The big rush, however, will be in the late afternoon and evening hours until the polls close at 8 p.m., he said.
, which has its own precinct, reported similar activity so far via Twitter.
Despite a hotly contested local Democratic Senate race and some interest in the Governor's Council race, Spanos is still only predicting a 15-16 percent turnout overall -- that number is fairly standard for Peabody in recent state primaries. On Super Tuesday this past March, and in the city primary last fall, .
Spanos said he didn't see many sign holders outside any of the polls today nor even that many people inside checking off their voter lists of supporters. He said Senate candidate Mary-Ellen Manning had some checkers out, Joan Lovely had said she planned to (but he hadn't seen any) and he hadn't see any for John Slattery or Edward Carroll.
Spanos had canvassed Ward 4, 5 and 6 in the morning and did spy a few candidates out and about; he planned to head to Ward 1, 2 and 3 later in the afternoon to check on the polls there. He said the only problems so far were some voters still showing up at their old precinct to cast their ballot.
All voters were notified of redistricting changes in January, but Spanos said, some voters were apparently still confused.
An interesting note on the electoral makeup of Peabody, a traditionally blue-collar city, is that most voters aren't actually Democrats. There are 20,014 who remain Unenrolled while only 11,520 are registered Democrats, and 3,161 are registered as Republicans.
Spanos said independent or unenrolled voters have historically been in the majority of registered voters in Peabody as far as he knows, and that goes back more than 30 years.