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Bostonians vote on Super Tuesday

Biden and Trump will win this year’s Massachusetts primary, according to the AP projection, moving the two candidates closer to a rematch in November. On Tuesday, Boston voters headed to the polls to cast their votes in this year’s primary. 

Official City of Boston Ballot Drop Box. Voters went to the polls to vote in the Super Tuesday primary election. MADI KOESLER/DFP FILE

Bob Carr, an Allston resident, is an independent who did not cast a vote in the primary. Carr said he was intending to vote for Robert Kennedy Jr., but his name was not on the ballot.

“One of the reasons is … to send a message to the Democrats and the Republicans: none of you are speaking to us,” Carr said. 

Carr said he thinks both parties are focused on being the winning party, rather than what will happen if they do. 

“The party that serves the people best, not the one that pushes its agenda, is gonna be the winning party, and neither of them do that,” said Carr. “They’re pushing their agenda, both of them.”

Alayna Blodgett, another registered independent, voted for Biden because she thinks writing in is a “waste of a vote.”

“I feel like it is gonna come down to Biden and Trump, so I’d rather put my vote towards Biden,” Blodgett said. 

“It’s hard to say if it was a different Republican if maybe I would have voted for them, but I think a lot of what [Trump] stands for is not for general people,” said Blodgett. “I want the rights to my own body.”

Blodgett said reproductive rights is a big part of why she does not support most Republicans, leading her to vote Democrat in most previous elections. 

Last year, Mass. had the highest share of independent voters in the country. Another registered independent, Joe Z., cast his vote for Nikki Haley on Tuesday.  

“I really like the way she carries herself, and I don’t necessarily align with her on every issue, but I feel … she always has a reasonable and well thought through position,” Joe Z. said.

While acknowledging that voting for Haley felt like a “throwaway vote,” Joe Z. said he felt it was “worth casting.” He said Trump’s election denialism and Biden’s left-learning policies steer him away from the two candidates. 

“I think some of Haley’s policies are actually more conservative than [Trump’s] in a way I don’t necessarily love, but his personality is too much of a loose cannon for me,” Joe Z. said. “Whereas Biden, it’s more of … that his policies are too far left for me.”

Megan Nizza, a student in the Boston area, voted no preference in the primary, a voting option that has become a “protest voting” option against President Biden. 

“I’m hoping that it sends a message that the candidate for the party I voted for is not certain,” Nizza said. “I feel that there’s a lot of momentum around, and that there’s time for change.”

Ariela Borkan, a registered Democrat living in Arlington, voted by mail for Biden but said she wished she had voted for the no preference option. 

“I’m Israeli, but I’m pro-Palestine, and I’ve been very disappointed,” Borkan said. “I don’t want the U.S.’s participation in the war the way that it’s happened.” 

Borkan was quick to add, “but Trump is such an awful option.” She said she thinks Biden will lose the election. 

“I think that he’s losing a lot of the Democratic vote. I think he’s losing a lot of the Muslim vote … I don’t think he’s come on strong enough on the issues, especially my strongest issues,” said Borkan. “So it’s been a very disappointing last four years.”

But Borkan said in the general election, not voting for Biden is a “vote for Trump.”

“I don’t know anyone who’s happy with Biden. But I also know no one who’s considering voting anything but Biden,” Borkan said. 

Ryan Costa, a staff member for Marianne Williamson, who un-suspended her campaign following the Michigan primary, said he doubts Biden’s chances against Trump in another election.  

“It’s not even just his policies… it’s the fact that he’s gonna lose to Trump,” said Costa. “Is Biden really that strong of a candidate? He only barely beat Trump last time.” 

Voter turnout was low across the state in Tuesday’s primary, reflecting the air of inevitability surrounding this year’s election as Biden and Trump win most Super Tuesday states. Tansey Helmke, a poll worker who used to live in Boston, said voting is an important part of democracy. 

“A lot of focus gets put on November but … it’s important to come out for the primary as well, so you make sure your candidate is on the ballot,” Helmke said.

Reported by Lauren Albano, Charlie Johnson, Emilia Wisniewski, Karyna Cheung and Nathan Metcalf  

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