Slightly more than 2.5 million registered voters cast ballots in Massachusetts for the Nov. 8 election, besting projections thanks to far more people voting in person on Election Day than expected, state officials said Monday.
Precisely 2,508,298 people voted in this month’s general election, and their numbers accounted for slightly more than 51 percent of the state’s registered voters, which still was one of the lowest shares for a state election in Massachusetts history. But by sheer volume, it marked the second highest number of ballots cast in a midterm election, topped only by the 2.7 million who voted in 2018.
Secretary of State William F. Galvin earlier this month had projected that 2.2 million voters would cast ballots, a number that would have marked the lowest turnout by percentage in at least seven decades.
On Election Day itself, however, more than 1.38 million people cast ballots at polling places, representing about 55 percent of all ballots cast. That outpaced the nearly 938,000 ballots that were cast by mail, and it far exceeded the share of people who voted in person on Election Day in 2020, when just 35 percent of all ballots that year were cast.
“I’m delighted to have been wrong,” Galvin, a Brighton Democrat, said of his projection.
With 51.4 percent of the state’s nearly 4.9 million voters casting ballots, turnout was slightly better than in 2014, when 50.8 percent did. That year marked the lowest percentage for a state election since at least 1948, the earliest year included in data posted online by the secretary of state’s office.
People now have far more flexibility in casting ballots after the state made universal mail-in voting permanent this year. The state also allowed for a two-week in-person voting period ahead of the Nov. 8 election, during which voters cast more than 188,000 ballots.
Roughly 40 percent of registered voters in Boston turned out to vote by one means or another, with 180,830 of all 447,852 registered voters casting ballots. About 36 percent voted by mail, and 60 percent voted on Election Day, according to data released by Galvin’s office.
Turnout lagged in other cities, with roughly 23 percent of Lawrence’s 45,187 registered voters casting ballots. It was the lowest share of any town or city in the state, followed by Springfield (25 percent turnout), Lowell (30 percent), and Chelsea (32 percent).
Of municipalities with at least 2,000 registered voters, Eastham had the highest turnout, with more than 72 percent of 4,680 voters casting ballots.
Mount Washington, home to just 140 registered voters, saw the highest turnout across Massachusetts at 76 percent, followed closely by Alford (371 registered voters) and Conway (1,473 registered voters), both of which had 73.3 percent vote.