Town Clerk Reports High Number of Absentee Ballots for Upcoming Election; Voters Go to the Polls on Tuesday

Thursday, November 3, 2011
By Joe Domelowicz

Town Clerk Carla Vitale this week said this week that the Clerk’s office is preparing for a big voter turnout at next week’s Town Elections, based on a high number of absentee ballots being sought at Town Hall in advance of the election.

“I think it indicates a high level of interest,” said Vitale, who declined to hazard an actual  guess on voter turnout. “There are so many things that influence how many people actually show up on Election Day, the weather for instance, that I don’t like to predict a number or percentage. But I do think that people are interested in the election this year.”

According to Vitale, more than 200 absentee ballots have already been cast in the race, and compared to the last Town Election in 2009, when about 160 absentee ballots were cast, Vitale expects better than average turnout this time.

In 2009, 4,026 voters were heard, which equated to about 41 percent of the then-registered voters.

Town-wide voters will have decisions to make on Town Council President an At-large Council seat, precinct races in precincts 2, 4 and 6 and a choice between several candidates for two School Committee seats.

Voters also have decisions to make on five ballot questions pertaining to the way town government operates.

All five-ballot questions are related to proposed changes to the Town Charter, which were offered to the voters by the Town Council following the required five-year review of the charter (see related story).

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. on Election Day, and Vitale added that this Town Election will likely be the last time the town uses its three traditional polling locations. In 2012, the town is scheduled to switch to just two locations for all six precincts.

This year’s poll locations are as follows:

Precincts 1, 2 and 5 at Memorial Gym on Pauline St.

Precincts 3 and 6 at Winthrop High School, the Cross Street entrance.

Precinct 4 O’Connell Hall at 9 Golden Drive.

For more information about Tuesday’s including voting “over the counter” with an absentee ballot, contact Town Clerk Carla Vitale at 617-846-1742 or visit the town website: www.town.winthrop.ma.us.

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