Secretary of state predicts record low turnout in Senate special election

Secretary of State William F. Galvin predicted Monday that 1.6 million voters – a record low in a Massachusetts Senate race—will turnout out in Tuesday’s special US Senate election between Democrat Edward Markey and Republican Gabriel E. Gomez.

“There just hasn’t been an interest in the race,’’ Galvin told a State House press conference where he outlined his estimates.

If he is correct, the turnout will be about 600,000 less than voted in the 2010 race between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley, the only other special election for Senate held in Massachusetts history.

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The election is expected to cost taxpayers in excess of $13 million.

Galvin’s turnout prediction would mean just 37 percent of the 4.3 million voters would participate in Tuesday’s election.

By comparison, 53 percent went to the polls in the Brown-Coakley race.

Turnout in a special election is typically lower than in a general election. But this race has seen particularly low interest as voters have been distracted by a series of other news and sports event.

Galvin said the unusual timing of the balloting – late June, when people are not used to voting – will also likely contribute to depressed turnout.

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