Turnout was brisk throughout the day at polling places around the Island as Martha’s Vineyard voters joined Americans across the country by casting ballots in the closely-watched 2022 midterm elections.

A contested race for Cape and Islands district attorney tops the local ballot. Polls are open in every Island town until 8 p.m. Town-by-town voting locations can be found here.

Watching over polls in Oak Bluffs. — Jeanna Shepard

With all eyes on a slate of national senate and congressional races too close to call that will determine control of Capitol Hill, closer to home, Vineyard voters will get to have their voices heard in a contested race for governor that pits Democratic state attorney general Maura Healey against Republican Geoff Diehl.

Two-term incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker decided not to run for re-election earlier in 2022.

By mid-morning town clerks were reporting strong turnouts had begun to outpace expectations on a crisp, clear autumn day. Polling locations across the Island were filled with voters, some accompanied by small children taking in the sights of democracy at work.

In Oak Bluffs, a row of competing political signs led voters through the parking lot to the library. Inside, poll workers directed voters and town clerk Colleen Morris rushed around, ensuring a smooth operation.

“This is probably the busiest [now], but it’s been steady,” Ms. Morris told the Gazette. “It’s a great day to vote.”

Ms. Morris said 345 voters had cast ballots before about 10 a.m. Tuesday. Outside the polls, voter Kimberly Averill said the midterm elections are important for the future of the country.

Check-in line in West Tisbury. — Ray Ewing

“I think it’s scary times for us with the economy in the world as it is today,” she said.     In Edgartown, town clerk Karen Medeiros said town hall was busy from the moment polls opened at 7 a.m, estimated that more than 100 voters an hour had passed through.

“It’s been steady all day,” Ms. Medeiros said just before 11 a.m. “I thought we would’ve gotten a little bit of a lull earlier, but we haven’t.”

At the West Tisbuy public safety building, voters filled kiosks and formed a line that nearly stretched outside as poll workers directed traffic. Election warden Dionis Montrowl said a steady flow compounded already high early-voting turnout.

“Today it’s been steady and we’re up to 280 voters,” Ms. Montrowl said.

A sense of urgency and civic duty was in the air. Outside the West Tisbury polls, Martha’s Vineyard Democrats treasurer Nicola Blake was a lone figure behind an array of signs for local races.  She said other committtee members were stationed at locations around the Island. Underscoring the importance of the election, Ms. Blake said she was happy to participate.

“There’s so much at stake,” she said. “I’m a naturalized citizen so I take it very seriously myself.”

Back at the Oak Bluffs library, Kimberly Averill agreed.

“It’s nice to see so many people — that’s a positive,” she said. “I always have [voted], I feel strongly about it. We’re so lucky that we’re able to.”     

Down the ballot, statewide races also include contests for attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer and auditor.

Voting in Chilmark. — Albert O. Fischer 3rd

Island voters will also help decide three contested regional races.

Democrat Robert Galibois is facing off against Republican Dan Higgins for Cape and Islands district attorney, after six-term Republican incumbent Michael O’Keefe announced he would be stepping down earlier in 2022.

Mr. Galibois, a former assistant district attorney and defense lawyer from Barnstable, won an uncontested democratic primary in September. Mr. Higgins, who has worked as an assistant district attorney for the past decade, beat out two other challenges in a contested Republican primary.

Both candidates have been campaigning heavily on the Cape and Islands. Mr. Galibois has significantly outraised Mr. Higgins on Martha’s Vineyard, although Mr. Higgins has outraised Mr. Galibois overall.

Incumbent ninth district congressman, Democrat Bill Keating, is facing a challenge from Republican Jesse Brown. Mr. Keating has served in Congress since 2010 and lives in Bourne. Mr. Brown is a former marine and businessman from Plymouth.

State Sen. Julian Cyr is also facing a challenge from Republican Christopher Lauzon. Mr. Cyr, a Democrat from Truro, has served in the statehouse since 2016. Mr. Lauzon, from Barnstable, works for his family’s auto repair business.

In local elections, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission has eight candidates on the ballot and three additional candidates running write-in campaigns, with a total of 10 people vying for nine at-large seats. According to commission enabling legislation, at least one, but no more than two people must be elected from each Island town. Carole Vandal, of Aquinnah, and Jennifer Smith Turner, of Oak Bluffs, are seeking election as write-in candidates. 

The Dukes County Commission has six candidates on the ballot and one, Julianne Vanderhoop of Oak Bluffs, mounting a write-in campaign for seven seats.

Along with four statewide ballot questions, voters in Tisbury and Oak Bluffs have town-specific questions. In Tisbury, voters are being asked to approve a regulation that would allow restaurants to serve alcohol without food. In Oak Bluffs, voters will decide on a Proposition 2 1/2 override that would allow the town to move forward with its $26 million wastewater facility expansion.

The Gazette will carry Island-specific results in all races online as they become available Tuesday night.

Updated to include names of announced write-in candidates for Dukes County and Martha's Vineyard commissions.

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