"Mass. Primary Eyed by Nation" the Boston Globe said yesterday. If that's true the nation is wasting its time.
Lack of any formal contests plus the difficulty of "writing-in" on voting machines rob today's presidential primary of any great significance. Sen. Eugene J. McCarthy (D-Minn.) is the only candidate on the Democratic ballot, and Governor John A. Volpe is alone on the Republican list.
McCarthy and Volpe automatically win first-ballot convention support from the state's convention delegates. The percentage of write-in votes that other candidates receive will not be especially indicative. Write-in voting on machines is a cumbersome process that sometimes discourages voters. Many voters don't even know that machine write-ins are possible.
A reduction in the number of polling places and shortened voting hours should confuse voters even more. Cambridge voting hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and only one polling place will be open in each ward.
Voters wishing to write-in will have an easier time in towns, many of which still use paper ballots. But polling in the state's cities, where the largest turnout is expected, is mechanized.
Last night John F. X. Davoren, Massachusetts Secretary of State, predicted that 450,000 voters, or only 25 per cent of those registered, will vote today. Voters in some precincts will also choose members of local party committees