Aside from two high-profile races at the top of the ballot and a pair of controversial initiatives, Cambridge residents stepping into the voting booth in and around Harvard Square today are not likely to find much in the way of a contest.
Most positions up for grabs today are either uncontested or uncompetitive, with the exception of the presidency and the Massachusetts’s junior U.S. Senate seat.
In contested races, Democratic incumbents are expected to win in a landslide.
At the top of the ballot, President Barack Obama is expected to easily out-poll former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in his home state, picking up Massachusetts’ 11 electoral votes. Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill E. Stein ’72, a two-time Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate, will likely take some support away from the Democratic and Republican front-runners.
In Massachusetts’ much-watched U.S. Senate race, voters will choose between incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown and Harvard Law School professor and Cantabrigian Elizabeth Warren.
Also likely to draw voters’ attention are Questions Two and Three, for which affirmative answers would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medicine and legalize medical marijuana respectively.
Both questions have attracted a lot of attention and drawn much scrutiny.
The two controversial measures will be accompanied by two more benign initiatives.
Question One, the “Right to Repair,” would give car owners access, starting in 2015, to diagnostic and repair information previously unavailable to them.
Question Four is a non-binding show of support for the so-called “Budget For All,” which would urge legislators in the Middlesex and Suffolk Districts to prevent cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other programs, while promoting job growth and raising taxes on the wealthy.
The Fifth Congressional District race between longtime Democratic Congressman Edward J. Markey and Republican Tom Tierney, a consulting actuary and perennial candidate, is expected to be a landslide in favor of the incumbent.
The new Fifth District is the result of redistricting earlier this year which reassigned parts of Cambridge formerly represented by Congressman Michael E. Capuano, including much of Harvard’s campus, to Markey.
The only other contested seat on the ballot is Middlesex County Sheriff. Current sheriff, Peter J. Koutoujian, a Democrat, is defending his seat against Ernesto M. Petrone, a politically unenrolled corrections officer with the county.
The other five posts up for grabs on the ballot are uncontested. These posts include the Middlesex & Suffolk state senate district and the Twenty-Fifth Middlesex District for state legislature. After winning her Democratic primary handily in September, Cambridge City Councillor Marjorie C. Decker will assume Cambridge’s state legislature seat today. Democratic State Senator Sal N. DiDomenico was unopposed in his own primary and will retain his seat for another two years.
Also running uncontested, Democrat Terrence W. Kennedy will be re-elected to the Governor’s Council, Democrat Michael A. Sullivan will be re-elected Clerk of Courts for Middlesex County, and Democrat Maria C. Curtatone will be re-elected Register of Deeds for Middlesex County’s southern district. Local polls open at 7 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.
—Staff writer Nicholas P. Fandos can be reached at email@example.com.