By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s Town Election has gotten off to a slow start, but was hoped to pick up later in the day.
By 1 p.m., approximately 300 people had cast their votes, according to Precinct Warden Stu Britton. At most, he said there had been 10 voters in at a time.
“It’s understandably slow,” he said at the high school, the polling place for all of the town’s nine precincts. “It’s not the usual ebb and flow.”
A mail-in option was allowed for those uncomfortable going to the polls. The Election Office sent out 152 mail-in ballots and got 133 back. Two hundred absentee ballots were sent out and 109 were returned. Pat Dolan of the Election Commission said there were no complications, but she was hoping that more would utilize this method. In some cases people got their applications for the mail-in ballots in past the deadline, and were told they could vote at the polls.
The election was originally scheduled for April 7, but pushed back to June 30, in accordance with guidelines from Gov. Baker’s office. Three of the town’s elected boards have contested races—School Committee, Board of Electrical Commissioners, and Park and Rec Commission. Sarah Stone, one of the candidates for School Committee, arrived at the high school around 10:45 a.m. and held her sign, waving to voters as they drove in, along with fellow candidates Dan Knight and Dale Langille. She said it had been quiet, but that she had received a lot of support for her campaign.
“I’m happy with the feedback,” she said.
Inside the high school, a number of changes had been made to protect the public’s health. The poll workers all wore masks, and plastic dividers were set up at each table. Markers used to fill out the ballots were sanitized before being used again. Britton credited the plans made by the Election Commission, that they had been thought out and well engineered.
“It’s worked really well,” said Britton. “The voters have been very cooperative.”