Sunday, May 26, 2024

Voting at a Neighborhood 9 polling place on Tuesday. (Photo: Marc Levy)

In a national midterm election that could decide if America continues to have a functioning democracy, Cambridge and Somerville voters saw a blue tide rolling predictably back in – and many stayed home. 

Two years ago Cantabrigians who came to the polls could help elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House and defeat Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and 68 percent of registered voters came to the polls. This year, with no similar statement to be made, only 46 percent of Cambridge’s 70,567 registered voters cast ballots, with Somerville turnout slightly better at 49 percent of that city’s 55,388 registered voters. Two years ago, Somerville turnout was 70 percent.

Despite what looks lackluster, turnout in Cambridge was called bigger than expected Tuesday by election commissioner Charles Marquardt, who said some voters thought to be inactive showed up to cast ballots. 

Both cities released unofficial results late Tuesday or early Wednesday, with nothing likely to change as absentee ballots, write-in results and other odds and ends are tabulated in the coming days.

In all the top races, the outcomes were predictably Democratic, including for the U.S. House of Representatives. The Associated Press gave big wins to Ayanna Pressley (with 85 percent of votes) and Katherine Clark (with 75 percent of votes). Cantabrigians able to vote for Pressley gave her 95 percent of the vote; Cantabrigians able to vote for Clark gave her 93 percent of the vote.

Democrat Maura Healy will become the state’s governor in January with the departure of Republican Charlie Baker, entering Wednesday with 64 percent of the vote to the 35 percent won by Trump-backed Republican Geoff Diehl. (During the September primary, Cambridge Republicans gave the win to Diehl’s opponent, Chris Doughty.) The gubernatorial race was such a lock that The Associated Press called it within 20 minutes of polls closing, with 0.2 percent of precincts reporting statewide. In Cambridge, Healy and lieutenant governor-elect Kim Driscoll, the mayor of Salem, took 91 percent of the vote. In Somerville, the figure was 88 percent.

Andrea Joy Campbell will be attorney general, replacing Healey, winning 63 percent of the vote statewide to the 36 percent won by Republican James McMahon. Cambridge gave Campbell a whopping 91 percent of its vote. In Somerville, the figure was 88 percent.

Secretary of state seven-term incumbent William Francis Galvin won reelection easily, with 66 percent of the vote statewide to Republican challenger Rayla Campbell’s 30 percent. In Cambridge, Galvin won 87 percent of the vote. In Somerville, the figure was 83 percent.

Deborah Goldberg remains treasurer, according to media reports. Cambridge gave her 93 percent of its vote. In Somerville, the figure was 87 percent.

Diana DiZoglio also won auditor easily, with 55 percent of the vote statewide to the 38 percent won by Republican opponent Anthony Amore. In Cambridge, DiZoglio took 78 percent of the vote; in Somerville, she got 73 percent.

There were 13 races for state representatives and senators and positions such as councillor, district attorney and sheriff in which Democratic or left-leaning incumbents won reelection in Cambridge without facing an opponent.

In ballot questions decided Tuesday, several of which affect state laws, only one was deemed settled by The Associated Press as of early Wednesday: Question 2, on the regulation of dental insurance similar to how the federal Affordable Care Act regulates health insurance. It ties increases in premiums to the consumer price index and requires dental insurers to spend at least 83 percent of the premiums they collect from subscribers on dental care, limiting administrative expenses – and it won statewide with 71 percent of the vote. Among Cantabrigians who cast votes on the question, 86 percent said yes to the law; in Somerville, approval was 83 percent.

Statewide, other questions entered Wednesday too close to call: Question 1, for additional tax on income over $1 million; Question 3, increasing the availability of licenses to sell alcohol; Question 4, sometimes referred to as the “immigrant drivers’ licenses” law; a nonbinding Question 5, in favor of single-payer health care for the state; and a nonbinding Question 6, on calling for vote transparency in the state’s House of Representatives.

Cantabrigians voted predictably on the progressive side of each: The “millionaires tax” won with 76 percent of the vote in a city in which many earn more than $1 million annually; the alcohol-licenses question won with 60 percent of votes; allowing state residents to get a driver’s license or permit regardless of immigration status if they meet other requirements won with 85 percent of the vote; among those who were able to cast a ballot on the single-payer-health-care question, 85 percent wanted state Rep. Marjorie Decker to vote for it; and 94 percent wanted her to vote in favor of changing her body’s rules toward transparency.