More than 1 million Massachusetts residents voted in the 2018 state primary election, surpassing the threshold for the first time in over a decade.
The 1,004,605 voters accounted for just over 22 percent of the state’s 4.5 million registered voters in this year’s Sept. 4 election, according to the secretary of state’s office.
These figures aren’t record breaking, but they look much better than the state’s last showing during a primary election. In the 2016 primary, 386,000 voters, or 9 percent of registered voters, cast ballots.
In the 2014 primary, 716,000 voters, or 18 percent, turned out.
But the numbers weren’t always so low in the state. Massachusetts voters last topped the 1 million mark in a state primary in 2006, a year that also marked the last time voter turnout exceeded 25 percent of registered voters.
This year, 721,000 residents cast Democratic ballots, and 281,000 cast Republican ballots. Almost 3,000 people voted Libertarian.
Many predicted low turnout for this election because it fell on the Tuesday following Labor Day. In the days leading up to primary day, Secretary of State William Galvin predicted a turnout of about 700,000.
This year’s primary featured a few high-profile races, including a 10-way Democratic contest for Congress in the Third District, won by Lori Trahan after a recount; Ayanna Pressley’s victory over incumbent Michael Capuano in the Seventh Congressional District; and the race for governor.
“Surely, the turnout we saw in the primary suggests a high level of interest, and I think we’re going to see that turning over to the November election,” Galvin said at a news conference Monday, according to the Salem News. “Everyone anticipates that this is going to be a significant midterm election nationally and here in Massachusetts.”