Polls Open Today for State Primary

Vineyard voters go to the polls today to cast ballots in the state primary and Democrats in particular are expected to turn out to make choices in an unusual four-way race for governor.

Senate president Thomas F. Birmingham, state treasurer Shannon P. O'Brien, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich and former state Sen. Warren Tolman are vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Yesterday, the latest metropolitan newspaper polls showed Ms. O'Brien and Mr. Reich running in a close race ahead of the two other candidates, with Mr. Birmingham gaining ground rapidly behind the two front-runners. Most polls showed Mr. Tolman trailing the other three candidates.

On the Democratic ticket there is also a race for lieutenant governor among Christopher F. Gabrieli, Lois G. Pines and John P. Slattery.

There are no local contests on the Democratic ballot; there are three candidates and four slots for county commission, so candidates Robert M. Sawyer, William J. Shay and Paul Strauss will all appear on the November ballot.

On the Republican ticket Mitt Romney is the sole candidate for governor, and Mr. Romney will oppose the winner of the Democratic nomination in November.

There is one local contest on the Republican ticket in the race for Cape and Islands district attorney: first assistant district attorney Michael O'Keefe is running against Barnstable resident John Meade. The winner will run against Democratic candidate Kevin Callahan in November.

A handful of candidates appear on the Green Party and Libertarian tickets.

Polling hours in all the towns are from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. today. The polling places are as follows: the Edgartown town hall; the American Legion Hall in Tisbury; the elementary school in Oak Bluffs; the new public safety building in West Tisbury; the Aquinnah town hall, and the Chilmark community center.