Live blog: The 2020 Massachusetts primary elections

Follow the latest reports below as they come in from across the state.

Election workers wear PPE as they hand out ballots at Boston City Hall.
Election workers wear PPE as they hand out ballots at Boston City Hall. –JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

What’s next for Joe Kennedy if he loses? (4:45 p.m.)

Rep. Joe Kennedy III could be headed toward the Senate when all of the votes are tallied in his Democratic primary race against Sen. Ed Markey — or he could be headed out of office.

The one place he won’t be going is back to his old 4th District congressional seat.

After forgoing re-election to run for Senate, Kennedy told the Boston Herald on Monday that he would not re-enter the House contest to win back his seat as a write-in candidate if he loses to Markey, after polls in recent days showed him trailing the incumbent senator.

“As far as I’m concerned, Wednesday morning, we’re getting up and we’re going somewhere else to start campaigning as the Democratic nominee for Senate, and we’re going to keep this campaign going against whoever wins from the Republican side,” Kennedy said.


So, the seven Democrats running for his current seat can exhale a sigh of relief.

Kennedy hasn’t otherwise publicly entertained his potential post-defeat life. When he and Markey were asked what would be the first thing they would do if they lost during their most recent debate, Kennedy said, “Whatever my wife wants.”

Markey asks a primary day question (2:35 p.m)

You’d think he might have asked sooner, but with a few hours left in his Democratic primary battle with Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Sen. Ed Markey wants to know what this election means to you.

Markey posed the query on Twitter just a short while ago. It’s a loaded question to be sure, and the responses began pouring in immediately: everything from “a livable future on this planet,” to “An end to American dynasties and the start of a new era,” to “This race represents the last shred of hope I have in electoral politics in this country.”

Check out the responses to the tweet below.

How Ed Markey and Joe Kennedy are spending election day (1:45 p.m.)

Just because it’s finally voting day in the Senate primary race between Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Joe Kennedy III doesn’t mean the campaigning ends.

Even with just hours remaining for Massachusetts residents to cast ballots, the two Democrats are darting across the state for votes.


Markey began the day with a voter meet-and-greet in Boston, before driving I-90 west for another public event in Springfield. The senator is then hauling back east to his hometown of Malden. There, the senator plans to give an election-night speech from the Malden Public Library, where he studied decades ago as a commuter student at Boston College and Boston College Law School.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Markey’s campaign says that only media members will be allowed to attend in person. But it will be live-streamed on his website.

Meanwhile, Kennedy began his morning with several stops in Boston, followed by meet-and-greets in Worcester, Fall River, and New Bedford, where his campaign is hoping to drive up voting-day turnout in order to overtake Markey, who they admit likely has an advantage among early and mail-in voters.

The Newton congressman is ending his day with a walk around the Nubian Square neighborhood in Boston with Suffolk County Sheriff Steve Tompkins, followed by an election-night speech from his campaign headquarters in Watertown. Kennedy’s campaign says the press-only speech will be live-streamed over his social media platforms.

Sen. Ed Markey bumps elbows while greeting supporter Colleen Doherty, of Boston, during a campaign stop Tuesday in Boston. —Steven Senne / AP
Rep. Joe Kennedy III greets James Vines, of Boston, during a campaign stop Tuesday in Boston. —Steven Senne / AP

PHOTOS: Scenes from a socially distanced, PPE-protected primary (12:55 p.m.)

A security official takes the temperature of a voter at Boston City Hall Tuesday. —JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images
Election workers wear PPE as they hand out ballots at Boston City Hall. —JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images
A election official holds up face shields to be worn by election workers at Boston City Hall during the primary election. —JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images
An election worker sanitizes and cleans the polling location at Boston City Hall during the Massachusetts primary Tuesday. —JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images
Socially distanced voters fill out ballots at the Boston City Hall during the Massachusetts primary election Tuesday morning. —JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

Here’s what to know about voting and the races to follow (5 a.m.)

With polls opening at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Massachusetts primary election day is here.

This year marked the first time early voting was offered for a state primary in Massachusetts. Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin announced Monday that more than 850,000 voters had cast their ballot by mail so far, and he reminded voters that if they hadn’t mailed in their ballot, they could still deposit it at designated drop boxes in their town or city on Tuesday or at their local election office. Anyone who requested a vote-by-mail ballot but didn’t receive it can also vote in-person Tuesday.


All eyes will likely be on the race, which became increasingly heated, between incumbent Sen. Ed Markey and challenger Rep. Joe Kennedy III for a seat in the U.S. Senate. The crowded contest to fill Kennedy’s seat in Congress representing the 4th District, which stretches from the Rhode Island border to the western suburbs of Boston, has remained close as the days have counted down.

The outcome of the congressional race in the 1st District is also being closely watched, where longtime incumbent Rep. Richard Neal is facing a challenge from Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who has garnered support among progressives. In the 8th District, Democratic voters will face a choice between nine-term incumbent Rep. Stephen Lynch and his more progressive challenger, Dr. Robbie Goldstein, a 36-year-old infectious disease doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Polls will close Tuesday at 8 p.m. If you’re just tuning in, here are some stories to catch up:

Check back over the course of the day for live primary election updates.

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