Vote Counting Underway in Massachusetts

Posted January 19, 2010 at 9:04pm

Poll have closed and ballot counting has begun in Massachusetts to decide the winner of the contentious Senate special election.

Turnout was reportedly heavier than projected in the contest between state Sen. Scott Brown (R) and state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in the race for the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) seat. Late polls showed Brown surging, as Independent voters overwhelmingly favored him over Coakley.

Even before polls had closed, finger pointing and blame assigning had already begun among Democrats — who are poised to lose the seat held by late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) as well as their 60-vote super majority if Brown pulls off the win.

Also before polls had closed, Coakley’s campaign alleged that ballots pre-marked for Brown had been given out at polling places across the state.

“Reports that the Coakley campaign is making reckless accusations regarding the integrity of today’s election is a reminder that they are a desperate campaign,” Brown campaign counsel Daniel Winslow said in a statement responding to the charge. “The reality is that Massachusetts voters will determine the outcome of this election despite political attacks leveled by Martha Coakley and national Democrats.”

Stay tuned to CQpolitics.com for update throughout tonight as results are reported.